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EPA Annual Toxics Report Shows Decrease in Chemicals Released From Facilities in New York State

Release Date: 02/21/2008
Contact Information: Rich Cahill (212) 637-3666, cahill.richard@epa.gov

(New York, N.Y.) The latest Toxic Release Inventory (TRI) data continues to show a general downward trend for chemical releases by facilities in New York State, according to the annual TRI report issued today by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) in record time. Total releases to air, water and land by industry in the state decreased by more than 10% between 2005 and 2006, from 32.9 million pounds to 29.1 million.

“TRI is an important tool for regulators, emergency responders, businesses and communities because it helps them better understand and be aware of the types and amounts of chemicals being released in their neighborhoods,” said Alan J. Steinberg, EPA Regional Administrator. “It also serves to encourage industries to improve their processes and reduce the amounts of chemicals released – leading to this reduction in the amounts released into New York’s environment.”

Electric utilities reported a reduction of 12% of their releases from 10.7 million pounds in 2005 to 8.2 million the next year. A drop in emissions of sulfuric, hydrochloric and hydrofluoric acids can be attributed in part to power plants complying with a state requirement to use fuel with lower sulfur content and more reliance on natural gas as a fuel source. Overall air releases in the state decreased from 19.8 million pounds in 2005 to 16 million.

Water discharges went from 9.8 million pounds to 8.1 million during that same period. The reduction was mainly due to lower nitrate compound discharges, with Eastman Kodak in Rochester leading the trend by dropping 700,000 pounds, Anheuser-Busch in Baldwinsville, with a 495,000 pound decrease, and IBM in Hopewell Junction, which reduced its discharge by 240,000 pounds. Kodak’s 33% decrease in nitrate compound discharges into the Genesee River from its King’s Landing treatment plant in 2006 was the result of treating nitrate on site for the first time due to a better understanding of plant operation.

The TRI is the most comprehensive source of information about chemicals released into the environment. On a national level, over 23,000 facilities reported on approximately 650 chemicals for calendar year 2006. Thanks to improvements in EPA’s system, the vast majority of facilities now report data electronically and detailed information about specific facilities is more readily accessible to the public.

The TRI tracks the chemicals released by facilities 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 data include information on toxic chemicals treated on-site, recycled, and burned for energy recovery.

The TRI data and background information are available to the public at: https://www.epa.gov/tri/tridata/tri06/index.htm. Communities can also quickly and easily identify local facilities and chemical releases by using the TRI explorer mapping tool, available at: https://www.epa.gov/triexplorer.

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