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EPA Releases 2001 Nationwide Toxics Release Inventory Data (Hawaii)
Release Date: 6/30/2003
Contact Information: Dean Higuchi, (808) 541-2711
SAN FRANCISCO -- Industries in Hawai'i reported a 137 percent increase in the amount of toxic chemicals released into the air, land and water in the year 2001, according to new data released today by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. A majority of the increase was due to changes in the way facilities report certain releases, and not due to changes in production levels.
This information is part of the EPA's Toxics Release Inventory, an annual measure of toxic chemical releases, transfers and waste generated by facilities in the United States. The TRI data reflect numbers submitted to the EPA by business and industry, and does not mean that facilities with elevated levels are out of compliance with state, local or federal environmental regulations.
Reporting thresholds for lead and lead compounds were lowered from 2000 reporting limits, increasing the number of facilities reporting releases this year.
In Hawai'i, 38 facilities reported 3.1 million pounds of toxic chemical releases, ranking 49 in total releases nationwide. Most of the 137 percent increase can be attributed to increases reported from electricity generating facilities using different calculation methods and first time reporting from four military facilities.
"A majority of the increase in reported releases can be attributed to revised reporting methods for electricity generating facilities," said Wayne Nastri, EPA's regional administrator for the Pacific Southwest region. "The good news is that the TRI program has proven repeatedly that as reporting methods improve, numbers drop soon afterward ."
Four federal facilities reported for the first time in 2001. In past years, these federal facilities have engaged in similar activities, which release chemicals to land, but had not previously reported. This accounts for the majority of the increase in releases to land.
The lowered lead data amounts, which were reported for the first time in 2001 are an important addition to TRI because these chemicals persist for a long time and build up in the environment. Thus, even small releases are of concern. The data provide communities with a much better picture of the sources of persistent, bioaccumulative and toxic chemicals in the environment, and how these chemicals are managed.
Total releases of chemicals nationwide decreased by 15.5 percent, or 1.05 billion pounds, from reporting year 2000 to 2001. Based on trends since the inception of TRI in 1988, chemical releases have decreased approximately 54.5 percent.
Since 1987, manufacturers have reported 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 Hawai'i are:
- Hawaiian Electric Industry Inc. Kahe Generating Station, Kapolei, Honolulu, 904,000 pounds
- Hawaiian Electric Industry Inc. Waiau Generating Station, Pearl City, Honolulu, 338,000 pounds
- U.S. Army Schofield Barracks, Schofield, Honolulu, 327,000 pounds
- Hill Generating Station, Hilo, Hawaii, 260,000 pounds
- Chevron Prods. Co. Hawaii Refinery, Kapolei, Honolulu, 212,000 pounds
- Maui Electric Co. Ltd. Kahului Generating Station, Kahului, Maui, 210,000 pounds
- AES Hawaii Inc., Kapolei, Honolulu, 129,000 pounds
- U.S. Army Schofield Barracks Range Facility, Schofield, Honolulu, 125,000 pounds
- Hawaiian Electric Industry Puna Generating Station, Keaau, Hawaii, 110,000 pounds
- Ball Metal Beverage Container Corp., Kapolei, Honolulu, 86,000 pounds
Fact sheets and additional information on the 2001 TRI data for Hawai'i are available at https://www.epa.gov/region09/toxic/tri/report .
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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