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Mid-Atlantic Highlights from National EPA Toxics Report

Release Date: 4/12/2001
Contact Information: Joan Schafer, (215) 814-5143 & Ruth Wuenschel, (215) 814-5540

Joan Schafer, (215) 814-5143 & Ruth Wuenschel, (215) 814-5540

PHILADELPHIA — The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has issued its annual Toxics Release Inventory (TRI), which provides detailed information on toxic chemical use and release so citizens, businesses, and governments can work together to protect the quality of their land, air, and water.

The TRI is based on yearly reports submitted to EPA and state agencies by companies and federal facilities within the industrial and manufacturing sectors. It serves as a monitor of toxic chemicals released at a company’s location, treated, recycled or transferred elsewhere, along with pollution-prevention methods used. The 1999 annual TRI report, required under the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act, allows EPA, state governments, businesses and the public to gauge industry’s progress toward reducing toxic chemical pollution.

EPA’s annual accounting of toxic industrial discharges shows that facilities in the agency’s mid-Atlantic region cut toxic chemical releases by more than 50 percent since 1988 based on the original list of 644 toxic chemicals and chemical compounds.

The data released today covers all of these 644 chemicals and other wastes from 20 manufacturing industries which were included in the report for the past 12 years and releases from seven additional industries added in 1998. They are electric utilities, coal and metal mining, chemical and petroleum bulk terminals and commercial hazardous waste treatment, and solvent recovery facilities. As a result of adding these new industries, the total amount of annual releases in the mid-Atlantic region increased by 47 percent from 317 million pounds in 1997 to 472 million pounds in 1999. The majority of the increase is from electric utilities reporting sulfuric acid and hydrochloric acid aerosols air releases from the combustion of coal.

“TRI is a public report card for the industrial community. It creates a powerful motivation for waste reduction. But, more importantly, it’s a powerful tool for citizens to understand what is released into the air, land, and water where they live, work , and play,”
said Thomas C. Voltaggio, acting regional administrator.


Mid-Atlantic State Highlights from National EPA Toxics Report - 4/12/01
Page Two

Some specifics from mid-Atlantic states:

In Maryland, Brandon Shores & Wagner Complex of Baltimore Gas & Electric had the highest on-site releases - - 12.6 million pounds. Pepco Morgantown Generating Station was second with seven million pounds and Pepco Chalk Point Generating Station was third with 5.5 million pounds.

In Pennsylvania, Armco, Inc. Butler Operations (now owned by AK Steel of Ohio) had the highest on-site releases with 34 million pounds. Almost all of this was nitrates released in surface water as a result of neutralization of nitric acid from the cleaning of steel. Armco is installing a non-nitric acid process to clean steel, which will greatly reduce nitrate releases beginning with the 2000 TRI reports next year. Keystone Station in Shelocta had the second highest releases - - 20.7 million pounds, mainly sulfuric and hydrochloric acid aerosols. Allegheny Energy, Inc. Hatfield Power Station, Masontown had the third highest release with 9.3 million pounds, also mostly acid aerosols.

In Virginia, Honeywell Intl. Inc., Hopewell Plant had the highest on-site releases of
5.5 million pounds. Most of this was ammonia air emissions. The Chesterfield Power Station was second with 4.9 million pounds, which was primarily air releases of acid aerosols and land releases of metals. Westvaco Corp., Bleached Board Division in Covington was third with total on-site releases of 4.7 million pounds, mostly air releases of methanol acid aerosols. These releases are down from the 1997 total of 5.1 million pounds.

In West Virginia, American Electric Power Plants in Winfield, Moundsville and New Haven were ranked the top three with total on-site releases of 19.1, 12 and 9.4 million pounds respectively. These releases were primarily acid aerosols from fuel combustion and land disposal of metals.

In 2001, the TRI will also include more information about persistent bioaccumulative toxic chemicals (PBT) because the reporting threshold levels for many PBT chemicals have been lowered. PBT chemicals are of particular concern not only because they are toxic ,but also because they remain in the environment for long periods of time, are not readily destroyed, and build up or accumulate in body tissue. The specific PBTs and new reporting levels are described in EPA’s TRI web-site listed below.

A new rule effective for reporting year 2001 is for a lower threshold of lead. Facilities have been required to report lead and lead compound releases if they manufactured or processed more than 25,000 pounds annually or used more than 10,000 pounds annually. The new reporting threshold is 100 pounds per facility annually. This may result in 10,000 more TRI reports nationally and 1,000 additional reports in regionally.

Specific TRI information on individual companies, is available on the Internet at EPA’s “Envirofacts Warehouse”: This web address will access a query form. Type in the first word of the company’s name in the box next to “Facility Identification.” Go down to the bottom of the page and click on the “Search” button. If you would like search for several facilities throughout your local community, enter your local zip code and click on the “Search” button.