- WEB EXCLUSIVE
- PE COFFEEHAUS
2007 TRI Data Made PublicThe latest Toxics Release Inventory (TRI) report was issued Wednesday by the EPA, providing data gathered during the 2007 calendar year. The latest data showed an overall decrease of 5 percent in releases since 2006. Releases to air decreased 7 percent and releases to water decreased 7 percent, according to the agency.
"This information underscores the need for fundamental transparency and provides a powerful tool for protecting public health and the environment," said EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson. "Serving the public's right to know is the crucial first step in reducing toxic chemicals in the places where we live, work, and raise children."
This year's annual publication of the data included 650 chemicals from 22,000 facilities.
Companies are responsible for providing accurate, reliable data on all toxic releases in a given year. Data reported to the TRI program can at times be misinterpreted by neighborhood residents. Because of this, many companies have prepared statements and press releases for local media explaining information in their latest reports.
This report was not subject to the changes made to TRI reporting by the 2009 Omnibus Appropriations Act, signed into law by President Barack Obama on March 11. The new law returns TRI to the more comprehensive reporting requirements that were in effect before Dec. 21, 2006. As such, the 2007 report does not include certain data elements from Form R and Form A. The reports will continue to be generated every year.
The report shows increases in the releases of persistent, bioaccumulative, and toxic chemicals like lead, dioxin, mercury and PCBs. Overall PBTs releases increased one percent. The increases were primarily due to a handful of facilities, and most of the releases reported were not to the air or water.
Total disposal or other releases of mercury increased 38 percent, but air emissions of mercury were down three percent. The majority of mercury releases were reported by the mining industry.
PCB releases went up 40 percent. EPA banned the production of PCBs in the U.S. in 1979 and disposing of it safely to permitted, hazardous waste landfills is the final important step in removing it from use. Dioxin releases or disposal increased 11 percent. Lead releases increased by one percent. The majority of lead released was by the mining industry to land.