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Community Chemical Release Data Available for Rhode Island

Release Date: 03/22/2007
Contact Information: David Deegan, (617) 918-1017

(Boston, Mass. - March 22, 2007) – EPA’s Toxic Release Inventory (TRI) data is available this year earlier than ever before for local communities and national analysis. Facility-specific data was released last September and the full national data released today.

EPA has released the most recent reporting data (for the year 2005) for the Toxic Release Inventory (TRI). This information, released each year to the public and communities throughout the U.S., covers chemical releases to air, water and land by power plants, manufacturers and other facilities which employ ten or more workers and exceed thresholds for chemicals.

For the past several years, EPA has consistently made this information available to communities earlier than in the past. This is the earliest EPA has ever released TRI information.

“EPA is getting quality data out to the public faster, thanks to efficiencies like electronic reporting which is good for the environment, good for states and good for communities and industry alike,” said Robert W. Varney, regional administrator for EPA’s New England office.

During 2005, the latest year for which data are available, approximately 24 million pounds of chemicals were released in the six New England states, a reduction of about 700,000 pounds. In Rhode Island, releases in 2005 were approximately 394 thousand pounds (a reduction of about 56,000 pounds). Of Rhode Island’s releases, 98.5 percent were emitted to the air during 2005.

This year’s data shows that progress is being made nationally in reducing releases of several chemicals of special concern. For example, between 2004 and 2005 dioxin releases decreased by 23 percent and mercury releases fell by nine percent.

Reporting includes information on chemicals released at a company's facility, as well as those transported to disposal facilities off site. TRI data do not reflect the relative toxicity of the chemicals emitted or potential exposure to people living in a community with reported releases. TRI data also does not indicate illegal discharges of pollutants to the environment. Yearly releases can vary due to factors such as power outages, production variability, etc., that do not reflect a facility's pollution prevention program(s).

The top five chemicals released to the environment during 2005 in Rhode Island were:

- Toluene 2005 releases = 101,082 lbs. 2004 releases = 106,128 lbs.
- Styrene 2005 releases = 86,013 lbs. 2004 releases = 91,055 lbs.
- Zinc Compounds 2005 releases = 63,737 lbs. 2004 releases = 46,165 lbs.
- Methyl Tert-Butyl Ether 2005 releases = 41,406 lbs. 2004 releases = 34,643 lbs.
- Copper 2005 releases = 41,336 lbs. 2004 releases = 41,505 lbs.

Rhode Island’s five largest on- and off-site environmental releases reported under TRI for 2005 were:

Facility Pounds Environmental Releases
Stanley Fastening Systems, North Kingston 54,861
ExxonMobil Oil Corp., East Providence 51,439
Pearson Composites, LLC, Warren 44,550
Soluol Chemical Co. West Warwick 41,272
Kenyon Industries, Inc., Kenyon 37,338

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 (PPA) of 1990 also mandates that TRI reports must 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.