Originally published by EPA
BOSTON – Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released its 2019 Toxics Release Inventory (TRI) National Analysis, which shows that EPA and companies that manage chemicals continue to make progress in preventing pollution. The report shows that between 2018 and 2019 total releases of TRI chemicals decreased by 9 percent.
For the first time in five years, industrial and federal facilities reported an increased number of new source reduction activities that aim to reduce or eliminate the amount of chemical-containing waste facilities create. Facilities also avoided releasing 89 percent of the chemical-containing waste they created and managed during 2019 into the environment by using preferred practices such as recycling, treatment, and energy recovery.
In 2019, 95 percent of the TRI chemical waste managed at facilities in Region 1 was not released into the environment and was instead managed using preferred practices such as recycling, treatment, and energy recovery. This is 6 percent higher than the national average. From 2007 to 2019, releases from facilities in Region 1 decreased by 42 percent, driven by reductions in releases to air from electric utilities, and from 2018 to 2019, releases in Region 1 decreased 13 percent, or 2.3 million pounds. In 2019, 9 percent of facilities in Region 1 reported implementing new source reduction activities. Source reduction reporting rates in the region were among the highest in the computer/electronic products sector, in which 22 percent of facilities reported at least one source reduction activity.
The 2019 TRI National Analysis released today reflects TRI chemical waste management activities, including releases, that occurred during calendar year 2019 and therefore does not indicate any potential impacts of the COVID-19 public health emergency that began in the United States in early 2020. Due to the significant analysis of reported information, this summary and interpretation of the most recent TRI data is released approximately six months after the reporting deadline.
Thanks to the passage of the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act of 1986 which helped create EPA’s Toxics Release Inventory program, Americans now have greater awareness of how chemicals are being managed in their communities. Today, nearly 22,000 facilities report annually on the use and quantities of more than 760 chemicals they release to the environment or otherwise manage as waste to the Toxics Release Inventory (TRI) program. 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.