Greenhouse Gas Reporting in the Chemical Manufacturing Sector
While many chemical releases are required to be reported to the TRI, the TRI Program does not cover all chemicals released by industrial activities. Notably, most greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions are not reported to the TRI. Greenhouse gas emissions increase the concentration of these gases in the atmosphere, which alter the amount of heat trapped by the Earth’s atmosphere and contribute to climate change. These elevated concentrations and their effect on climate are reasonably anticipated to endanger the public health and welfare of current and future generations.
EPA’s Greenhouse Gas Reporting Program (GHGRP) tracks facility-level emissions from the largest U.S. sources of GHGs. The chart below shows GHG emissions reported to the GHGRP by facilities in the chemical manufacturing sector from 2012 to 2021.
Different GHGs can have different effects on the Earth’s warming; Global Warming Potential (GWP) values allow for comparisons of the global warming impacts of different gases. MTCO2e is a weighted measurement that considers the tonnes of the gases and their associated global warming potentials.
- Note that while TRI typically collects chemical release data in units of pounds, the GHGRP collects GHG emissions data in units of metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalents (MTCO2e). This chart shows GHG emissions in MTCO2e.
- The chemical manufacturing sector reported emissions of 186.5 million MTCO2e for 2021, an 8% increase since 2012.
- For 2021, 3,404 facilities in this sector reported to the TRI and 459 facilities in the sector reported to the GHGRP. Of the 459 facilities in this sector that reported to the GHGRP, most also reported to the TRI Program.
- To explore the data reported to EPA on GHG emissions, see the Facility Level Information on GreenHouse gases Tool (FLIGHT).
- EPA’s Understanding Global Warming Potentials webpage provides further information on GWPs, how they are used, and how they differ by GHG.
- For more details on the chemical manufacturing sector’s GHG emissions, visit GHGRP Chemicals.
- The TRI P2 Search Tool lets you compare facilities’ waste management reported to TRI and their GHG emissions reported to the GHGRP.
This page was published in March 2023 and uses the 2021 TRI National Analysis dataset made public in TRI Explorer in October 2022.