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EPA Issues Toxics Release Inventory Program Data

HAPs were down in 2011 but other pollutants were up. The reason could be just a result of rule interpretation.

February 11, 2013
KEYWORDS HAP / releases / tri
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 On Jan. 16, 2013, the EPA issued the Toxics Release Inventory(TRI) data for 2011, revealing that total toxic air releases declined eight percent from 2010, primarily due to decreases in hazardous air pollutant (HAP) emissions, but total releases of chemicals increased for the second year in a row. The TRI program collects information on certain toxic chemical releases to the air, water and land, as well as information on waste management and pollution prevention activities by facilities across the country. The 2011 TRI data show that 4.09 billion pounds of toxic chemicals were disposed of, or released into, the environment (i.e., air, water or land), an eight percent increase from 2010. The difference is due to increases in land disposal at metal mines, which typically involve large facilities handling large volumes of material. In this sector, even a small change in the chemical composition of the ore being mined, which EPA understands is one of the asserted reasons for the increase in total reported releases, can lead to big changes in the amount of toxic chemicals reported nationally. More on the 2011 TRI analysis and TRI web-based tools is available at http://www.epa.gov/tri/NationalAnalysis. More on facility efforts to reduce toxic chemical releases is available at http://www.epa.gov/tri/p2. More on EPA’s TRI mobile application, myRTK is available at http://www.epa.gov/tri/myrtk/

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