- WEB EXCLUSIVE
- PE COFFEEHAUS
Notable in this year's data is a slight drop-off in the number of companies that submitted reports. The EPA said it plans to investigate why some facilities reported in 2008 but not 2009; it is supposed that the economic downturn caused many of these non-reporters to go out of business or shut down.
According to an EPA press release, the data showed overall toxic releases were down again this year. The analysis, which includes data on approximately 650 chemicals from more than 20,000 facilities, found that total releases to air decreased 20 percent since 2008, while releases to surface water decreased 18 percent. Releases to land decreased 4 percent since 2008. The data is particularly interesting as this was the first reporting year since many enterprises were returned to the complete Form R reporting.
The agency's analysis includes a few new wrinkles this year, highlighting toxic disposals and releases to large aquatic ecosystems, selected urban communities, and tribal lands. In addition, portions of the analysis are available in Spanish for the first time.
The analysis shows decreases in the releases of persistent, bioaccumulative, and toxic chemicals including lead, dioxin and mercury. Total disposal or other releases of mercury decreased 3 percent since 2008, while total disposal or other releases of both dioxin and lead decreased by 18 percent, according to the agency's press release. The analysis also shows a 7 percent decrease in the number of facilities reporting to TRI from the previous year, continuing a trend from the past few years. The agency admitted some of this decline may be attributed to the economic downturn.
The EPA added 16 chemicals to the TRI list of reportable chemicals in November. These chemicals are reasonably anticipated to be human carcinogens, and represent the largest chemical expansion of the program in a decade. Data on the new TRI chemicals will be reported by facilities on July 1, 2012.
More information on the 2009 TRI analysis: http://www.epa.gov/tri.
SOURCE: EPA press release