EPA's 2012 Toxics Release Inventory Shows Air Pollutants Continue To Decline

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Total releases of toxic chemicals decreased 12 percent from 2011-2012, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) annual Toxics Release Inventory (TRI) report released on Tuesday. The decrease includes an eight percent decline in total toxic air releases, primarily due to reductions in hazardous air pollutant (HAP) emissions.

“People deserve to know what toxic chemicals are being used and released in their backyards, and what companies are doing to prevent pollution,” said EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy. “By making that information easily accessible through online tools, maps, and reports, TRI is helping protect our health and the environment.”

The 2012 data show that 3.63 billion pounds of toxic chemicals were either disposed or otherwise released into the environment through air, water, and land. There was also a decline in releases of HAPs such as hydrochloric acid and mercury, which continues a long-term trend. Between 2011 and 2012, toxic releases into surface water decreased three percent and toxic releases to land decreased 16 percent.

This is the first year that TRI has collected data on hydrogen sulfide. While it was added to the TRI list of reportable toxic chemicals in a 1993 rulemaking, EPA issued an Administrative Stay in 1994 that deferred reporting while the agency completed further evaluation of the chemical. EPA lifted the stay in 2011. In 2012, 20.3 million pounds of hydrogen sulfide were reported to TRI, mainly in the form of releases to air from paper, petroleum, and chemical manufacturing facilities.

Another new addition to TRI reporting is a requirement for each facility located in Indian country to submit TRI reports to EPA and the appropriate tribe, and not the state where the facility is geographically located.  EPA finalized this requirement in a 2012 rule aimed at increasing tribal participation in the TRI Program.

This year's TRI national analysis report includes new analyses and interactive maps for each U.S. metropolitan and micropolitan area, new information about industry efforts to reduce pollution through green chemistry and other pollution prevention practices, and a new feature about chemical use in consumer products.

The annual TRI report provides citizens with critical information about their communities. The TRI Program collects data 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 data are submitted annually to EPA, states, and tribes by facilities in industry sectors such as manufacturing, metal mining, electric utilities, and commercial hazardous waste. Many of the releases from facilities that are subject to TRI reporting are regulated under other EPA program requirements designed to limit harm to human health and the environment.

Also available is the expanded TRI Pollution Prevention (P2) Search Tool, which now allows users to graphically compare facilities within the same industry using a variety of environmental metrics.

Under the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA), facilities must report their toxic chemical releases to EPA by July 1 of each year. The Pollution Prevention Act of 1990 also requires facilities to submit information on waste management activities related to TRI chemicals.

More information on the 2012 TRI analysis, including metropolitan and micropolitan areas is available at www.epa.gov/tri/nationalanalysis.

More information on facility efforts to reduce toxic chemical releases, including the new P2 facility comparison report, is available at www.epa.gov/tri/p2.


Volunteers Sought For Appalachian Trail Crew In Great Smoky Mountains National Park

The Appalachian Trail Conservancy seeks volunteers, 18 and over, to help maintain the Appalachian Trail in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park as part of the Smokies Wilderness Elite Appalachian Trail Crew for the 2015 season. A position on the S.W.E.A.T. Crew is physically demanding and is designed for experienced hikers who love to work hard, live in the backcountry, and create ... (click for more)

Haslam, TDEC Announce 2015 Governor’s Environmental Stewardship Award Winners; GreenTrips 1 Of Winners

Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam and Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation Commissioner Bob Martineau on Wednesday announced the winners of the 2015 Governor’s Environmental Stewardship Awards (GESAs). GreenTrips, of Chattanooga was one of the winners. The 11 winners will be recognized at an awards ceremony in Nashville on  June 23 .  “Today’s ... (click for more)

Circuit Court Jury Gives $20,599,000 Verdict In Favor Of Canyon Ridge Developers; Punitive Damages To Be Added

A Hamilton County Circuit Court jury on Thursday awarded $20,599,000 to the developers of Canyon Ridge on Lookout Mountain against a financial firm that allegedly secretly started working on a rival project. The jury also said the plaintiffs are due punitive damages. The amount will be set on Monday morning in the courtroom of Judge J.B. Bennett after each side gives 20-minute ... (click for more)

East Ridge To Have Saturday Session To Deal With Important Issues; Denny Manning Says He Will Take On Marc Gravitt For State House

Because one of the members was absent from the East Ridge City Council meeting Thursday night, discussions of several important issues that were on the agenda were postponed. The meeting was recessed and will continue on Saturday at 9 a.m. when everyone can be present to consider the city manager’s contract, employee’s insurance, a variance request for a beer permit, a contract ... (click for more)

Erlanger Electronic Medical Records Purchase Doesn't Add Up

Erlanger has recently announced their decision to purchase a $100,000,000 Electronic Health Information System. Something smells. Erlanger's downtown campus has 760 licensed beds, according to hospital-data. That would equate to $131,578 per bed for this system (now that's a lot of ipads). Please re-read that simple math. I use to manage an Electric Medication Administration ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: General Boykin Helps ‘Warriors’

General W.G. “Jerry” Boykin is one of the most fabled warriors in modern-day warfare. He is also one of the most polarizing men who has ever served his country. General Boykin, retired after 36 years as a soldier, spent 13 years in the secretive Delta Force. At one time he commanded the Green Berets and was in one some pretty impressive engagements. In 1980 he was in on the ... (click for more)