Press Release - 1998 TRI Data
Fair Use Statement
Working Group on Community Right-to-Know
218 D Street, SE * Washington, DC 20003
May 11, 2000
Lois Gibbs,Center for Health, Environment and Justice
Felice Stadler, Clean Air Network
Lois Epstein, Environmental Defense
Alan Septoff, Mineral Policy Center
Becky Stanfield, US P.I.R.G.
Lisa Mosca, Working Group on Community Right-to-Know
Paul Orum, Working Group on Community Right-to-Know
EPA RELEASES NEW POLLUTION DATA
MINES, UTILITIES AND TOXIC LANDFILLS RANK HIGH
ACTIVISTS CALL FOR POLLUTION SOLUTIONS AND FULL
Today the Environmental Protection Agency is releasing
new national data on toxic pollution from the
Community Right to Know Act’s Toxics Release Inventory
(TRI). For the first time, the inventory covers the
immense toxic pollution released from mines and
utilities, and the quantities dumped into hazardous
"Disclosing these emissions is an important citizens’
victory that will help people organize to clean-up and
prevent toxic pollution," said Paul Orum, director of
the Working Group for Community Right-to-Know.
For its first ten years, the inventory covered only
manufacturing industries. The data released today by
EPA covers seven additional industries: metal mines,
toxic waste disposal, utilities that burn oil or coal,
chemical wholesalers, coal processors, petroleum bulk
storage terminals, and solvent recyclers.
These new industries report large amounts of toxic
pollution, making gaps in regulatory coverage more
apparent. Here’s what public interest leaders are
"The new TRI data show that hardrock mining creates
huge amounts of toxic pollution. Congress should end
the mining industry’s current exemption from toxic
waste laws, and reject attempts to legally allow more
dumping of toxic mine waste," said Alan Septoff of the
Mineral Policy Center.
"Electric utilities are major toxic polluters. EPA
should close the special loopholes that exempt
utilities’ toxic air releases and coal combustion
waste from strict regulation under federal law," urged
the Clean Air Network’s Felice Stadler.
"The immense amount of toxics dumped into landfills
shows the need for pollution prevention at the
source," said Lois Epstein of Environmental Defense.
"For grassroots environmental groups across the
country, expanding the Toxic Release Inventory to
include more industries is a start, but to protect our
communities we need to reduce the use of toxic
chemicals," said Lois Gibbs of the Center for Health,
Environment and Justice. "Citizens not only want to
know how much pollution is being released into their
communities, they want facilities to prevent releases
in the first place."
"To promote pollution prevention, industries should
track and report toxic chemical uses, not just
releases," said Becky Stanfield of U.S. PIRG. "States
that collect chemical use information are reducing
production waste, contrary to the national trend,"
Stanfield said. "President Clinton should require
federal facilities to track and report toxic chemical
use. This would make the federal government a
pollution prevention leader and leave a lasting
"Unfortunately, the Administration is considering
proposals that threaten the future of public
right-to-know about toxic pollution. We are very
concerned about any proposal that weakens the public
right-to-know," said Lisa Mosca of the Working Group.
"We should close current loopholes, not create new
The Emergency Planning and Community Right to Know Act
passed in 1986 as part of Superfund, the nation’s
toxic dumpsite cleanup law. The data released today
covers the 1998 reporting year, and while incomplete,
is nonetheless the best information available to the
public on toxic pollution in many communities across
* * *
This release is provided by the Working Group on
Community Right-to-Know, a national network of
activists concerned with the public’s right-to-know
about chemical hazards and toxic pollution.
For more information contact (phone numbers above):
EPA will release the national 1998 TRI data this
afternoon at www.epa.gov/tri.
- Mining pollution, Mineral Policy Center
- Utilities pollution, Clean Air Network
- Toxic waste and communities, Center for Health,
Environment and Justice
- Toxic waste regulation, Environmental Defense
- Pollution prevention, U.S. PIRG
- Phantom reductions, Working Group on Community RTK
Additional environmental databases are available
through the Right-to-Know Network (RTK-NET) at
Working Group on Community Right-to-Know
218 D Street, SE; Washington, DC 20003
Phone: 202-544-9586; Fax: 202-546-2461
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