New EPA Toxic Release Inventory Report Shows Lower Chemical Releases in the Pacific Northwest and Alaska

SEATTLE (March 3, 2022) — Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency released its 2020 National Toxic Release Inventory (TRI) analysis, showing that companies that handle chemicals continue to make progress in preventing the pollution and the reduction of chemical discharges into the environment. The report states that between 2019 and 2020, total chemical releases from TRI nationwide decreased by 10% and chemical releases continue to decline in EPA Region 10.

In 2020, TRI facilities in EPA Region 10 — which covers Alaska, Idaho, Oregon, and Washington — handled 978 million pounds of production-related waste and released or disposed of 701 million of trash books. Reported chemical waste releases in Region 10 have decreased by 25% since 2011. For 2020, chemical waste releases have decreased by 10% from 2019 levels, excluding the metal mining sector and 4 % of facilities in Region 10 reported having implemented new source reduction activities.

Metal mines determine the amount of chemical waste managed and discharged in Alaska. In metal mines, changes in production volumes and in the chemical composition of the ore mined can vary significantly from year to year, which affects the quantities of waste reported to TRI and explains the fluctuations. of the quantities discharged. To learn more about metal mining operations and their IRR reports, explore the interactive metal mining chart.

The 2020 TRI National Analysis includes enhancements to make the data more useful and accessible to communities, including communities with environmental justice concerns. The EPA has added demographic information to the “Where You Live” mapping tool, making it easier to overlay maps of facility locations with maps of overburdened and vulnerable communities. Community groups, policy makers, and other stakeholders can use this information to identify potential exposures to air and water pollution, better understand whether communities are experiencing a disproportionate pollution burden, and take action as needed. local level.

In addition to new community mapping tools, the TRI National Analysis provides a new map in the Data Visualization Dashboard that displays international transfers of chemical waste by facilities in each state. In addition, the national analysis includes a new profile of the cement manufacturing sector and the addition of information on greenhouse gas reporting in certain sector profiles. Users will be able to track greenhouse gas emissions for electric utilities, chemical manufacturing, cement manufacturing and other sectors. This section will also include information on the benefits of source reduction in these industries.

To help communities reduce pollution, the EPA is offering $23 million in grants to states and tribes to develop and provide businesses with information, training, and tools to help adopt pollution prevention practices ( P2). For the first time, approximately $14 million in grants provided by the bipartisan Infrastructure Act are available with no cost-sharing or matching requirement, increasing access to funding for all communities. These grants are an essential part of the President’s Justice initiative40 by providing a significant benefit to communities affected by legacy pollution problems. The EPA will administer this program in accordance with this initiative to ensure that at least 40% of benefits are provided to underserved communities.

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With the passage of the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act of 1986, which created the EPA’s Toxic Release Inventory Program, and the Pollution Prevention Act of 1990, which expanded the program , Americans are more aware of how chemicals are managed in their environment. communities. Today, more than 21,000 facilities report more than 800 chemicals each year that they release into the environment or manage as waste. The EPA, states, and tribes receive TRI data from facilities in industry sectors such as manufacturing, mining, electric utilities, and commercial hazardous waste management.

Access the 2020 TRI National Analysis, including local data and analysis, at: www.epa.gov/trinationalanalysis.

Learn about facility efforts to reduce chemical releases from TRI at: www.epa.gov/tri/p2.

EPA Region 10 serves communities in Alaska, Idaho, Oregon, Washington, and 271 tribal nations. To learn more about EPA’s work in the Pacific Northwest, visit: epa.gov/epa-region-10-pacific-northwest. Join us on Twitter: @EPAnorthwest and Facebook: @eparegion10.