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EPA releases 2003 nationwide Toxics Release Inventory data California increases due to more toxic waste cleanup projects
Release Date: 5/11/2005
Contact Information: Lisa Fasano (415) 947-4307
SAN FRANCISCO -- From 2002 to 2003 industries in California reported a 21 percent and 6 percent decrease in the amount of toxic chemicals released into the water and air respectively, according to new data released today by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
Overall, California had an 11 percent increase in total on and off site releases when compared to 2002 data. The increase is primarily due to a 7.8 million pound increase in transfers of toxic materials from several cleanup projects throughout the state to a permitted hazardous waste landfill in Kettleman City.
The data comes from the EPA's Toxics Release Inventory, an annual measure of toxic chemical releases, transfers and waste generated by facilities in the United States.
"TRI continues to be a useful tool for states, counties and communities to know what types and amounts of chemicals are present in their neighborhoods," said Wayne Nastri, EPA's administrator for the Pacific Southwest region. "This year's TRI data is good news for the Golden State, since we continue to see a downward trend in releases to California's water and air."
Water releases decreased 1.2 million pounds, primarily due to a 600,000 pound reduction of methanol releases from Stockton Pacific Industries in Samoa, Calif. and decreases of nitrate compounds from various refineries and C&H Sugar in Crockett, Calif.
Air emissions releases of toxic chemicals decreased 6 percent from 2002 reporting levels.
In California, 1,510 facilities reported 59.5 million pounds of toxic chemical releases, up 11 percent from 2002 reporting levels. Total releases include toxic chemicals discharged to air, water, underground injection, land (including landfills), and the amount transferred off-site for disposal.
Persistent, bioaccumulative and toxic chemicals such as lead and lead compounds, mercury, PCB's and Dioxin-like compounds accounted for 8.4 million pounds of total on- and off-site releases. The refuse systems industry reported the largest amounts of lead and lead compounds releases. Approximately 6.2 million pounds of the lead compounds reported were released to the land in permitted hazardous waste landfills.
Much of the mercury compounds reported -130,000 pounds- were released to land in permitted hazardous waste landfills. The largest share of air releases of mercury and mercury compounds, approximately 450 pounds, came from the hydraulic cement industry.
Nationwide, disposal and other releases of TRI chemicals totaled almost 4.44 billion pounds from over 23,000 U.S. facilities submitting over 91,000 chemical forms. From reporting year 2002 to 2003, there was a 6 percent decrease in total disposal or other releases into the environment. This was largely attributable to an 18 percent decrease from the metal mining sector.
Since 1987, manufacturing facilities have been reporting their releases of 650 toxic chemicals and chemical categories under this program. Federal facilities began reporting in 1994. In 1998, seven additional industry sectors began reporting their toxic chemical releases for the first time including: metal and coal mining, electricity generation, commercial hazardous waste treatment, solvent recovery, petroleum bulk terminals, and wholesale chemical distributors.
The reporting of data to the Toxics Release Inventory is required under the federal Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act, passed in 1986. This program has been credited with arming communities with valuable knowledge and encouraging facilities to reduce their releases of toxic chemicals into the environment through source reduction, or pollution prevention measures.
The top 10 facilities for total on- and off-site releases in California are:
1 Chemical Waste Management (Kettleman City, Kings County) with 22.3 million pounds.
2 Clean Harbors Buttonwillow, L.L.C. (Buttonwillow, Kern County) with 3.2 million pounds.
3 Quemetco Inc. (City of Industry, Los Angeles County) with 1.8 million pounds.
5 Chevron Products Co. Div. Of Chevron USA Inc. (El Segundo, Los Angeles County) with 1.8 million pounds
5 ExxonMobil Oil Corp. Torrance Refinery (Torrance, Los Angeles County) with 1.7 million pounds.
6 Stockton Pacific Enterprises (Samoa, Humboldt County) with 1.6 million pounds.
7 GE Osmonics Desal Vista Plant (Vista, San Diego County) with 1.5 million pounds.
8 ConocoPhillips Co. LA Refinery Wilmington Plant (Wilmington, Los Angeles County) with 1.4 million pounds.
9 Hilmar Cheese Co. Inc. (Hilmar, Merced County) with 1.3 million pounds.
10 Tesoro Refining & Marketing Co. (Martinez, Contra Costa County) with 1.3 million pounds.
The top 10 facilities for total on- and off-site releases in Northern California are:
1 Stockton Pacific Enterprises (Humbolt County) with 1.6 million pounds
2 Tesoro Refining & Marketing Co. (Contra Costa County) with 1.3 million pounds.
3 Valero Refining Co. California Benicia Refinery (Contra Costa County) with 1.1 million pounds
4 Chevron Products Co. Richmond Refinery (Contra Costa County) with 1 million pounds.
5 Shell Oil Products US Martinez Refinery (Contra Costa County) with 881,000 pounds
6 New United Motor Manufacturing Inc. (Alameda County) with 562,000 pounds
7 Procter & Gamble Manufacturing Co. (Sacramento County) with 536,000 pounds
8 United States Pipe & Foundry Co. Inc. (Alameda County) with 439,000 pounds
9 Coast Wood Preserving (Mendocino County) with 237,000 pounds
10 Clean Harbors San Jose LLC (Santa Clara County) with 207,000 pounds
The top 10 facilities for total on- and off-site releases in Central California are:
1 Chemical Waste Management (Kings County) with 22.3 million pounds
2 Clean Harbors Buttonwillow, L.L.C. (Buttonwillow, Kern County) with 3.2 million pounds
3 Hilmar Cheese Co. Inc. (Hilmar, Merced County) with 1.3 million pounds.
4 TXI Riverside Cement Oro Grande Plant (San Bernardino County) with 502,000 pounds
5 Posdef Power Co. LP (San Joaquin County) with 341,000 pounds
6 Stanley Door Systems Rancho Cucamonga (San Joaquin County) with 335,000 pounds
7 Delano Growers Grape Products (Kern County) with 198,000 pounds
8 Spreckels Sugar Co. (Fresno County) with 190,000
9 Cemex California Cement LLC (San Bernardino County) with 186,000 pounds
10 California Dairies Inc. (Stanislaus County) with 159,000 pounds
The top 10 facilities for total on- and off-site releases in Southern California are:
1 Quemetco Inc. (Los Angeles County) with 1.8 million pounds
2 Chevron Products Co. Div. Of Chevron USA Inc. (Los Angeles County) with 1.8 million pounds
3 ExxonMobil Oil Corp. Torrance Refinery (Los Angeles County) with 1.7 million pounds
4 GE Osmonics Desal Vista Plant (San Diego County) with 1.5 million pounds
5 ConocoPhillips Co. LA Refinery Wilmington Plant (Los Angeles County) with 1.4 million pounds
6 Lasco Bathware (Orange County) with 546,000 pounds
7 DK Environmental Inc. (Los Angeles County) with 457,000 pounds
8 U.S. Marine Corps MCB Camp Pendleton (San Diego County) with 453,000 pounds
9 Dow Chemical Co. (Los Angeles County) with 409,000 pounds
10 BP West Coast Products LLC Carson (Los Angeles County) with 383,000 pounds
Fact sheets and additional information on the 2003 TRI data for California are available at
The following Web sites also provide useful information on TRI: https://www.epa.gov/triexplorer/ and https://www.epa.gov/enviro
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