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EPA releases 2003 nationwide Toxics Release Inventory numbers: Hawai'i ranks 49th in the nation in total releases

Release Date: 5/11/2005
Contact Information: Dean Higuchi, 808-541-2711

HONOLULU -- From 2002 to 2003, industries in Hawai'i reported a 14 percent decrease in the total amount of toxic chemicals released into the environment, according to new data released today by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

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 regional administrator for the Pacific Southwest region. “This is good news for the Aloha State as releases to the air and water decreased.”

Hawai’i’s, 41 facilities reported 3.1 million pounds of toxic chemical releases, ranking 49th in total releases nationwide. Leading the trend was a 14 percent decrease, or nearly 346,000 pounds, in reported releases to air. These releases were primarily sulfuric acid releases from electric generating facilities.

Releases to the water decreased by 20 percent, or nearly 91,000 pounds. This decrease was primarily due to the U.S. Navy Pearl Harbor Naval Complex, reporting fewer releases of nitrate compounds.

The U.S. Army Pohakuloa Training Area Range Facility and several other federal training facilities reported an increase of lead and copper releases to the land of 9 percent, or nearly 21,000 pounds.

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.

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 the metal mining sector (18 percent).

Since 1987, manufacturing facilities have reported their releases of more than 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.

Fact sheets and additional information on the 2003 TRI data are available at The Hawai'i fact sheet can be found at:

The following Web sites also provide useful information on TRI: and

The top 10 facilities for total on- and off-site releases in Hawai'i are:

1) Hawaiian Electric Inds. Inc. Kahe Generating Station (Kapolei, Honolulu County), 853,000 pounds.
2) U.S. Army Schofield Barracks/Wheeler Army Airfield (Schofield Barracks, Honolulu County), 445,000 pounds.
3) U.S. Navy Pearl Harbor Naval Complex (Pearl Harbor, Honolulu County), 369,000 pounds.
4) Hawaiian Electric Co. Inc. Waiau Generating Station (Pearl City, Honolulu County), 269,000 pounds.
5) Chevron Prods. Co. Hawaii Refinery. (Kapolei, Honolulu County), 208,000 pounds.
6) Hawaii Electric Light Co. Inc. Hill Generating Station (Hilo, Hawaii County), 190,000 pounds. 7) Maui Electric Co. Ltd. Kahului Generating Station (Kahului, Maui County), 170,000 pounds.
8) AES Hawaii Inc. (Kapolei, Honolulu County), 104,000 pounds.
9) Tesoro Hawaii Refinery (Kapolei, Honolulu County), 102,000 pounds.
10) Hawaiian Electric Light Co. Inc. Puna Generating Station (Keaau, Hawaii County), 79,000 pounds.

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