EPA data shows release of toxic chemicals down by 9% in mid-Atlantic region

Jan. 15, 2021

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has released its 2019 Toxics Release Inventory (TRI) National Analysis, which shows that EPA and companies that manage chemicals continue to make progress in preventing pollution. The report shows that between 2018 and 2019, total releases of TRI chemicals decreased by 9%.

For the first time in five years, industrial and federal facilities reported an increased number of new source reduction activities that aim to reduce or eliminate the amount of chemical-containing waste facilities create. Facilities also avoided releasing 89% of the chemical-containing waste they created and managed during 2019 into the environment by using preferred practices such as recycling, treatment and energy recovery.

Since 2018, releases of TRI chemicals in EPA’s Mid-Atlantic Region decreased by 11.4 million pounds. Going back to 2007, releases have decreased by nearly 70% (270 million pounds) in the Region, compared to a 19% decrease nationally. This large decrease was driven by declining air releases, although releases to water, land and off-site disposal also decreased during this time. For 2019, 7% of facilities in the Mid-Atlantic Region reported implementing new source reduction activities. Source reduction reporting rates in the region were among the highest in the plastics/rubber manufacturing sector, where 14% of facilities reported source reduction activities.

“The Analysis of TRI data shows that facilities located in the Mid-Atlantic Region have continued the trend of decreasing the release of toxic chemicals,” said EPA Regional Administrator Cosmo Servidio. “This data is a tool that can provide important information to the public on chemicals in their community as we work to reduce emissions.”

The 2019 TRI National Analysis reflects TRI chemical waste management activities, including releases, that occurred during calendar year 2019 and therefore does not indicate any potential impacts of the COVID-19 public health emergency that began in the United States in early 2020. Due to the significant analysis of reported information, this summary and interpretation of the most recent TRI data is released approximately six months after the reporting deadline.

The Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act of 1986 helped create EPA’s Toxics Release Inventory program. Today, nearly 22,000 facilities report annually on the use and quantities of more than 760 chemicals they release to the environment or otherwise manage as waste to the Toxics Release Inventory (TRI) program. EPA, states, and tribes receive TRI data from facilities in industry sectors such as manufacturing, mining, electric utilities, and commercial hazardous waste management. The Pollution Prevention Act also requires facilities to submit information on pollution prevention and other waste management activities of TRI chemicals.

To access the 2019 TRI National Analysis, including local data and analyses, visit: www.epa.gov/trinationalanalysis.

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