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Maine Companies Reduce Toxic Releases by 4% in 1995; EPA Names Ten Largest Pollution Emitters

Release Date: 05/20/1997
Contact Information: Alice Kaufman, EPA Press Office, (617) 918-1064

Boston -- Maine's manufacturers reduced the amount of toxics released into the air, water and land by 60% between 1988 and 1995, according to data released today by EPA's New England office. This compares favorably with the national rate of reduction was 45.6% for the same time period. The improved environmental performance of Maine's manufacturing facilities represents a reduction of 4% over the previous year.

"We've made great progress in reducing the toxic chemicals released into the New England environment in the last nine years," said EPA's New England Administrator John P. DeVillars. "And we've grown our economy at the same time. This adds further credibility to our claim that smart environmental practices equal smart business practices."

"The Clinton-Gore administration has made the public's right to know about pollution in every community a top priority," said DeVillars. "Just last month the President called for approximately 6,100 new facilities -- an increase of about 30% -- to make public the levels of toxic chemicals they release into the air, water and land in communities across the country. The Clinton-Gore administration and EPA are empowering communities to hold industry and government accountable for environmental and public health protection."

The amount of toxic pollutants reported by Maine manufacturers to EPA's Toxics Release Inventory (TRI) declined from 6,054,000 pounds in 1994 to 5,821,000 in 1995. In 1988, when the inventory first came into use, Maine manufacturers released 14,672,000 pounds of toxics into the environment.

The following is a list of the ten top industrial facilities in Maine in terms of number of pounds of chemicals emitted into the environment. It is important to note that these chemical emissions are reported to EPA under the TRI and do not reflect illegal discharges of pollutants to the environment.

Chemicals emitted
S.D. WarrenWestbrook1,270,475
S.D. WarrenSkowhegan1,254,958
Boise CascadeRumford1,046,590
Georgia-Pacific Corp.Woodland1,004,912
International PaperJay762,409
Bowater/Great Northern PaperMillinocket761,400
Champion International Corp.Bucksport727,144
James River Corp.Old Town461,654
Bowater/Great Northern PaperE. Millinocket284,228
Lincoln Pulp&PaperLincoln279,780

"These data underscore the fact that EPA and state agencies can reap great environmental and public health benefits by encouraging responsible companies to prevent pollution," DeVillars added. "Despite our continued progress, this inventory also reminds us that we are still releasing tens of millions of pounds of toxic chemicals into our environment each year."

In Maine, 14% of toxic wastes were recycled, 14% were used for energy recovery, 63% were treated, and 9% were released in 1995, according to the TRI.

The reporting of data to the Toxics Release Inventory is required under the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act, passed in 1986. The TRI provides the amount, location and type of release to the environment -- whether a pollutant is emitted into the air, discharged into the water, or released onto the land. It also includes information on waste shipped off-site for disposal or further treatment. The TRI 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.

TRI information is easily accessible to the news media and to the public. Information is available on-line, in hard copy and in a variety of computer formats, including CD-ROM. For copies or more information, the public is encouraged to call EPA's toll-free Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Information Hotline at 1(800) 424-9346