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TRI National Analysis

Introduction to the 2017 TRI National Analysis

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Industries and businesses in the United States (U.S.) use chemicals to make the products we depend on, such as pharmaceuticals, computers, paints, clothing, and automobiles. While the majority of chemicals included on the Toxics Release Inventory (TRI) chemical list are managed by industrial facilities to minimize releases into the environment, releases do still occur as part of their normal business operations. It is your right to know what TRI chemicals are being used in your community, how they are managed, how much is released into the environment, and whether such quantities are increasing or decreasing over time.

The TRI is a publicly available database maintained by EPA that tracks the management of certain chemicals. The information contained in the TRI is submitted by facilities in the U.S. in industry sectors such as manufacturing, metal mining, electric utilities, and commercial hazardous waste management. Under the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA), facilities must report details about their releases of TRI-listed chemicals for the prior calendar year to EPA by July 1 of each year. The Pollution Prevention Act (PPA) requires facilities to include in their report submissions information on pollution prevention and other waste management activities involving TRI chemicals. For calendar year 2017, more than 21,000 facilities submitted TRI data to EPA.

Each year, EPA prepares and publishes the TRI National Analysis. In support of EPA's mission to protect human health and the environment, the TRI National Analysis summarizes recently submitted TRI data, explores data trends, and interprets the findings.

Highlights from the 2017 TRI data

As an overview, the two charts below summarize the most recent TRI data on: 1) how chemical wastes were managed in 2017; and 2) how the portion of wastes that were disposed of or otherwise released were handled.

 

 

Note: Percentages may not sum to 100% due to rounding.

  • Facilities reported managing 30.57 billion pounds of TRI-listed chemicals as production-related waste. This is the quantity of TRI chemicals in waste that is recycled, combusted for energy recovery, treated, disposed of, or otherwise released into the environment. In other words, it encompasses the TRI chemicals in waste generated from the production processes and operations of the facilities.
    • Of this total, 87% was recycled, combusted for energy recovery, or treated. Only 13% was disposed of or otherwise released into the environment.
  • For chemical wastes that were disposed of or otherwise released, facilities also reported where the wastes were released—to air, water, or land (on site or off site). Most waste was disposed of on site to land (including landfills, other land disposal, and underground injection).
  • As highlighted in the Releases of Chemicals section, releases to air continued to decline in 2017. Since 2007, air releases reported to TRI have decreased by 57% (757 million pounds).

Where are TRI Facilities Located?

Click on any one of the locations on the map to see detailed information.
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This page was published in March 2019 and uses the 2017 TRI National Analysis dataset made public in TRI Explorer in October 2018.

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