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E-M:/ EPA TRI Press Release



Recently, TRI reporting changed with 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 December 21, 2006.



U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

EPA Issues Latest Information on Toxic Chemical Releases

Contact:  Suzanne Ackerman, 202-564-4355 / ackerman.suzanne@epa.gov

(Washington, D.C. – March 19, 2009)  The U.S. Environmental Protection
Agency today is making available the most recent reporting on the amount
of toxic chemicals released into the U.S. environment.  According to the
EPA’s Toxics Release Inventory, the latest data, from the calendar year
2007, show an overall decrease of five percent in releases since 2006.
Releases to air decreased seven percent and releases to water decreased
fi ve percent.

“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."

“I’m also pleased," Jackson added, 'that Congress under the leadership
of Senator Lautenberg took action to restore the rigorous reporting
standards of this vital program."

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.

This year’s annual publication of the data includes 650 chemicals from
22,000 facilities. TRI provides the American public with vital
information on chemical releases to communities and is an important tool
industry can use to gauge its progress in reducing pollution. TRI
reporting includes toxics managed in landfills and underground injection
wells as well as those released into water and the air.

TRI tracks the chemicals and industrial sectors specified by the
Emergency Planning and Community Right to Know Act of 1986 and its
amendments. The Pollution Prevention Act of 1990 also mandates that TRI
reports include data on toxic chemicals treated on site, recycled, and
burned for energy recovery. Together, these laws require facilities in
certain industries to report annually on releases, disposal and other
waste management activities related to these chemicals.

Recently, TRI reporting changed with 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 December 21, 2006.

More information on the TRI reporting change: http://www.epa.gov/tri
TRI 2007 Public Data Release:
http://www.epa.gov/tri/tridata/tri07/index.htm
TRI Explorer tool:  http://www.epa.gov/triexplorer