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News Releases from Region 01

TRI Data for New England Shows Continued Environmental Results in a Strong Economy

2018 Data Show increased recycling of chemical waste nationwide

02/12/2020
Contact Information: 
David Deegan (deegan.dave@epa.gov)
(617) 918-1017

NEWPORT, R.I. — The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has released its 2018 Toxics Release Inventory (TRI) National Analysis. Findings from this publicly available report show an increase in recycling of TRI chemical wastes nationwide and indicate that companies continue to find ways to implement new source reduction activities and reduce the quantities of TRI chemicals that they release into the environment.

"By providing the data in the TRI National Analysis, EPA is empowering communities to protect their environment and providing companies with the information they need to work toward a stronger future," said EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler. "The latest TRI data continue to demonstrate that under President Trump environmental stewardship and economic growth continue to go hand in hand."

Results of this publicly available database show that in New England in 2018, the most recent year data are available, releases and disposal of all TRI chemicals decreased by 7 percent, even as the regional economy has continued to grow and thrive.

"EPA's most recent release of TRI data illustrate continued reductions many categories of toxic chemical releases. While in any given year there are fluctuations in reported releases, over the long term it is clear that businesses are increasing efficiency and reducing emissions of potentially harmful substances," said EPA New England Regional Administrator Dennis Deziel. "The Toxic Release Inventory is an important tool that helps citizens understand how facilities in their communities operate."

In 2018, 90 percent of production-related chemical waste in the six New England states that comprise EPA Region 1 was managed through recycling, treatment, and energy recovery; only 10 percent was disposed of or released into the environment.

From 2007 to 2018, the quantity of production-related waste managed by most industry sectors in New England decreased, with the largest decreases in the paper and primary metals sectors. During this time, chemical releases into the environment decreased by 32 percent (8.8 million pounds), driven by decreased air releases at electric utilities. In 2018, 10 percent of TRI facilities in Region 1 implemented new source reduction activities. Source reduction reporting rates in the region were among the highest in the chemicals sector, where 14 percent of facilities reported at least one source reduction activity.

This year’s National Analysis expands the focus on geographical trends in chemical waste management across the country. New features include profiles exploring the diversity of industrial operations in each EPA region and a closer look at data from the hazardous waste management sector and the aerospace manufacturing sector.

The National Analysis showcases industry practices for managing waste and reducing pollution at nearly 22,000 facilities that submitted TRI data for calendar year 2018. EPA encourages facilities to learn from their counterparts’ best practices and adopt additional methods for reducing pollution.

To further highlight these industry best practices, EPA is holding events in EPA regions at facilities that implemented new source reduction activities. These facilities demonstrate how innovative projects can help industry reduce the generation of chemical pollution and improve their environmental performance.

2018 highlights:

  • Releases of TRI-covered chemicals into the environment from the manufacturing sector were lower than expected based on economic activity.
  • Facilities initiated 3,120 new activities to prevent or reduce the creation of chemical waste.
  • Nationally, the percent of industrial chemical waste that is recycled instead of released continued to increase.

Under the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA), covered facilities must report their annual releases of TRI chemicals for the prior calendar year to EPA by July 1. EPA, states and tribes receive TRI data from facilities in industry sectors such as manufacturing, mining, electric utilities and commercial hazardous waste management. The Pollution Prevention Act also requires facilities to submit information on pollution prevention and other waste management activities of TRI chemicals.

To access the 2018 TRI National Analysis, including local data and analyses, visit www.epa.gov/trinationalanalysis.

Information on facility efforts to reduce TRI chemical releases is available at www.epa.gov/tri/p2.