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EPA Releases 2001 Nationwide Toxics Release Inventory Data (Arizona)
Release Date: 6/30/2003
Contact Information: Lisa Fasano (415) 947-4307
SAN FRANCISCO -- Industries in Arizona reported an 18 percent decrease 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.
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.
Air emissions of toxic chemicals went down by 11 percent, to slightly over 4.6 million pounds, land disposal releases decreased 18 percent to 601.5 million pounds and releases to water decreased by 31 percent to 6,300 pounds.
Reporting thresholds for lead and lead compounds were lowered from 2000 reporting limits, increasing the number of facilities reporting releases this year by 44 in Arizona.
"The amount of chemicals released in Arizona continues to decrease," said Wayne Nastri, EPA's regional administrator for the Pacific Southwest region. "As mining companies streamline and better manage their operations, releases to the environment in Arizona have dramatically decreased."
In Arizona, 275 facilities reported 607 million pounds of toxic chemical releases, ranking third in total releases nationwide. Total releases include toxic chemicals discharged to air, water, underground injection, land (including landfills), and the amount transferred off-site for disposal. Eighty-nine percent of Arizona's on-site releases are due to mining operations.
Many mines extract, move, store, process, and dispose of large amounts of waste rock and ore -- materials that often contain low concentrations of naturally occurring metals. The vast majority of this material is placed in surface impoundments or on the land, and the metals are reported as on-site releases to land. There are also air releases from ore processing and metal refining operations.
A recent court decision may affect TRI reporting obligations for metal mining facilities in future years. Reporting year 2002 data will reflect those changes, in particular differences in toxic chemicals reported in waste rock.
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.
In reporting year 2001, the top 10 facilities for largest on-/off-site releases in Phoenix, AZ are:
- Sea Ray Boats Inc., 4140 E. Raymond, with 197,000 pounds
- Rexam Beverage Can Co. Phoenix Facility, 211 N. 51st Ave., with 175,000 pounds
- Penn Racquet Sports, 306 S. 45th Ave., with 145,000 pounds
- Goodrich Aircraft Interior Prods., 3414 S. 5th St., with 84,000 pounds
- Phoenix Brick Yard, 1814 S. 7th Ave., with 74,000 pounds
- L & M Laminates & Marble, 813 E. University, with 49,000 pounds
- Sub Zero Freezer Co. Inc. 3865 W. Van Buren, with 48,000 pounds
- Wallnox Enterprises (DBA Desert Sun Fiberglass), 21412 N. 14th Ave., with 46,000 pounds
- Western State Petroleum Inc., 3331 W. Broadway, with 43,000 pounds
- Marlam Inds. Inc., 834 E. Hammond Ln., with 42,000 pounds
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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