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TRI National Analysis

Comparing Industry Sectors in the 2016 TRI National Analysis

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This section examines which sectors contributed the most to production-related waste managed and released in 2016, and highlights several industry sectors to show trends occurring over time. It also discusses the trends among federal facilities, which report to the Toxics Release Inventory (TRI) regardless of sector. For analysis purposes, the TRI Program has aggregated the North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) codes at the 3- and 4-digit levels, creating 29 industry sector categories. To learn more about which business activities are subject to TRI reporting requirements, see this list of covered NAICS codes.

The industries that are subject to TRI reporting requirements vary substantially in size, scope, composition, and business type. As a result, the amounts and types of chemicals used, generated, and managed by facilities within a given industry sector often differ greatly from those of facilities in other sectors. For facilities in the same sector, however, the processes, products, and regulatory requirements are often similar, resulting in similar manufacture, processing, or other use of chemicals. Looking at chemical waste management trends within a sector can identify emerging issues, highlight progress made in improving environmental performance, and reveal opportunities for better waste management practices.


Seven industry sectors reported 88% of the quantities of TRI chemicals managed as production-related waste in 2016. A majority (65%) of TRI chemical waste managed originated from three sectors: chemical manufacturing (47%), primary metals (10%), and petroleum products manufacturing, primarily from petroleum refineries (8%).


This pie chart shows that 91% of the quantities of TRI chemicals disposed of or otherwise released originated from seven of the 29 industry sectors that are subject to the TRI reporting requirements. More than two-thirds originated from three industry sectors: metal mining (44%), chemical manufacturing (14%), and electric utilities (10%).

This page was published in January 2018 and uses the 2016 TRI National Analysis dataset made public in TRI Explorer in October 2017.

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