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Toxics Release Inventory (TRI) Program

TRI for Tribal Communities

Monument Valley Navajo Tribal Park, Arizona

The Toxics Release Inventory (TRI) tracks the management of certain toxic chemicals that may pose a threat to human health and the environment. U.S. facilities in different industry sectors must report how much of each chemical is released to the environment and/or managed through recycling, energy recovery and treatment. (A "release" of a chemical means that it is emitted to the air or water, or placed in some type of land disposal.)

The information submitted by facilities is compiled annually by EPA. TRI helps support informed decision-making by industry, government, non-governmental organizations and the public.

The information presented here is part of a larger effort to inform tribes of the availability of TRI data and other resources that may help assess tribal environmental and health concerns.

On this page:

Why should tribes be interested in TRI?

TRI data will allow tribes to:

  • identify sources of toxic chemical releases that may impact the health of tribal communities,
  • track increases or reductions of toxic chemical releases from TRI facilities over time, and
  • prioritize efforts to reduce pollution from TRI facilities located near tribal communities. 

How can tribes access TRI data?

There are several ways to access TRI data.

TRI Tribal Factsheets + Data on TRI Facilities & Industry Sectors

  • Use the TRI Explorer's tribal searches to view:
    • fact sheets about toxic industrial releases in Indian Country,
    • data about toxic releases from TRI facilities on or near tribal lands, and
    • data about industry sectors' toxic releases on or near tribal lands.

2015 TRI National Analysis Tribal Data

  • Use the National Analysis "Where You Live" tool to:
    • map tribal lands containing TRI facilities, with links to 2015 TRI data about those facilities, and
    • view a list of Indian tribes with TRI-reporting facilities on their lands, indicating which industry sector and chemicals accounted for the majority of toxic disposal or other releases for 2015 (the list is located below the map near the bottom of the webpage).

Map of TRI Facilities + Facility-Level Data

There are other online TRI tools as well as resources for understanding and using the data. See the full list on the TRI Data and Tools webpage.

Are tribes at risk from toxic chemical releases on or near their lands?

Yukon Salmon Trap
The answer depends on many factors, such as:
  • the toxicity of the chemical(s) released,
  • the quantity of the chemical(s) released,
  • the route of exposure (air, water, land),
  • how often a person was exposed, and
  • the fate of the chemical in the environment.

TRI has some of this information. TRI data provide estimates of quantities of toxic chemicals that are released to the environment, as well as information on how those chemicals are managed prior to or instead of being released. These data can be used to identify potential toxic chemical hazards near tribes; however, release estimates alone are not sufficient to determine exposure or to calculate potential risks to human health and the environment. 

To estimate immediate or long-term risks in your community, TRI data should be combined with other information, such as the toxicity of the chemical and the chemical's transportation and fate. Find out more on the What Can TRI Tell You About Risk webpage, or by browsing Factors to Consider When Using TRI Data.

Is there help available for tribes concerned about toxic chemical releases?

Yes, a variety of resources are available to assist tribes. 

Tribal Contacts

  • TRI Program Regional Coordinators: Tribes concerned about toxic chemicals released from specific industrial facilities may contact the TRI Coordinator in their region.
  • EPA Tribal Program Managers: Tribes are encouraged to contact the Tribal Program Manager in their region with questions about facilities near tribal communities.

Online Tools