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Executive Summary

Source: EPA 1994 Toxics Release Inventory
Public Data Release


Introduction:

What is the Toxics Release Inventory?

The Toxics Release Inventory (TRI) is a database which provides information to the public about releases of toxic chemicals from manufacturing facilities into the environment. TRI was established under the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act of 1986 and expanded under the Pollution Prevention Act of 1990. Facilities report their TRI information annually to EPA and to the state in which they are located.

Chapter 1: 1994 TRI Releases and Transfers

For 1994, the TRI list included 343 chemicals and 22 chemical categories. Facilities file a separate reporting form, called a Form R, for each listed chemical they manufacture, process, or use in excess of reporting thresholds. Facilities report the amount of each listed chemical they release to the air, water, and land, as well as the amount they inject into underground disposal wells. Box E-3 explains these release types.

TRI data alone cannot indicate the risk that chemical releases pose to human health and the environment. Though the TRI data are useful as a starting point in identifying potential risks, other information is required to evaluate the risk in a particular area. A determination of risk depends on many factors, including: the toxicity of the chemical, the extent of exposure, the type of release, and the conditions of the environment. For example, small releases of highly toxic chemicals may present a greater risk than large releases of less toxic chemicals. Direct releases, such as air emissions, may pose a greater threat to human health and the environment than more contained releases, such as underground injection.

On-Site Releases

For 1994, 22,744 facilities filed 75,332 Form Rs. These facilities released 2.26 billion pounds of listed toxic chemicals into the nation's environment in 1994. Figure E-1 shows the quantity of listed chemicals released to the air, water, and land and injected underground.

Figure E-2 shows the distribution of toxic chemical releases by type of release. Air emissions constituted nearly 69% of all toxic chemical releases in 1994. Surface water releases, which include releases to rivers, lakes, oceans, and other bodies of water, accounted for less than 3% of all releases. Releases to land, which include landfills, surface impoundments, and other types of land disposal, accounted for nearly 13% of all releases, while underground injection accounted for more than 15% of all releases.

Off-site Transfers

Facilities also must report the amounts of each listed chemical they ship to other locations for recycling, energy recovery, treatment, or disposal. Except for off-site transfers for disposal, these quantities do not necessarily represent entry of the chemical into the environment. Box E-4 explains each transfer type.

Transfers for treatment and disposal have been reported since 1987. Transfers for recycling and energy recovery have been reported since 1991.

In addition to quantities transferred, facilities also must provide the name and location of the site which will receive the shipment.

In 1994, facilities transferred nearly 3.8 billion pounds of toxic chemicals in waste to off-site locations for recycling, energy recovery, treatment, and disposal. Figure E-3 shows the quantity of toxic chemicals transferred to off-site locations for each type of waste management activity.

Figure E-4 shows the distribution of transfers by waste management activity. Transfers of toxic chemicals to off-site locations for recycling accounted for nearly 65% of all transfers. Less than 8% of all transfers were sent to off-site locations for disposal.

Total Releases by State, 1994 (Includes Underground Injection)

Figures E-5 and E-6 show the states with the largest quantities of reported toxic chemical releases in 1994, including releases to air, water, and land, as well as underground injection.

The total quantity of releases reported by these states does not necessarily indicate that risks from toxic chemicals are highest in these states. Release totals do not take into account the geographic size of the state or the size of the state's population. As discussed above, the risk from releases of toxic chemicals depends on a variety of factors, including the type of release, the toxicity of the chemical, and the proximity of populations to the releases.

Air/Water/Land Releases by State, 1994 (Excludes Underground Injection)

Figures E-7 and E-8 show the states with the largest quantities of reported toxic chemical releases in 1994, excluding underground injection. This alternative ranking method is presented because releases to properly designed and constructed Class I injection wells have lower exposure potentials than other, more direct forms of release. Texas ranks first for both air/water/land releases and for total releases (including underground injection). Tennessee, Louisiana and Ohio remain in the top five if underground injection is excluded, although their rankings change. Mississippi, which ranks fourth for total TRI releases (including underground injection), drops to 12th place if underground injection is excluded.

Releases and Transfers by Industry, 1994

In the private sector, only manufacturing facilities in SIC codes 20 through 39 were required to report to TRI for 1994. Box E-5 lists the industry groups currently subject to TRI, along with their corresponding SIC codes. Facilities owned and operated by the Federal government were required to report for the first time in 1994; releases from these facilities are discussed in a separate section of this report. Other industry groups are currently under consideration for future addition to the reporting requirements.

Figure E-9 presents the 10 industries with the largest quantities of reported toxic chemical releases, including underground injection, in 1994. Figure E-10 presents the 10 industries with the largest total transfers to off-site locations.

Figure E-11 shows the locations of the 10 facilities which reported the largest quantities of TRI releases, including underground injection, in 1994. The label next to each facility on the map lists the facility name, the city and state in which it is located, and the total quantity of TRI releases in 1994.

All facilities must report the name of their parent company, if applicable, on their Form Rs. The parent company is the highest-level company which owns or controls the reporting facility. Table E-1 lists the top ten parent companies for total TRI releases, including underground injection. Together, these 10 companies accounted for only 1.9% of all TRI reporting facilities and 4.0% of all forms filed, yet they accounted for 25.7% of total TRI releases in 1994.

Figure E-12 shows the locations of the 10 facilities which reported the largest quantities of TRI releases to air, water, and land, excluding underground injection, in 1994. As discussed above, this alternative ranking method is presented because releases to properly designed and constructed Class I injection wells have lower exposure potential than other, more direct, forms of release.

Table E-2 lists the top 10 parent companies for releases to air, water, and land, excluding underground injection, in 1994. Together, these 10 companies accounted for only 2.0% of reporting facilities and 4.3% of all forms, but 21.4% of releases to air, water, and land in 1994.

The following page shows the 10 chemicals released in the greatest quantity for each release type.

Carcinogen Releases to Air/Water/Land, 1994 (Excludes Underground Injection)

For reporting purposes, TRI designates 118 chemicals as carcinogens based on criteria set forth in the Occupational Safety and Health Administration's Hazard Communication Standards. Some of these chemicals, such as benzene or asbestos, are known to cause cancer in humans. Others are suspected to cause cancer in humans because they have been shown to cause cancer in laboratory animals.

More than 177 million pounds of TRI-listed carcinogens were released to the air, water, and land (excluding underground injection) in 1994. Figures E-13 and E-14 show the 10 states and 10 industries with the largest quantities of carcinogen releases to air, water, and land in 1994. Table E-7 lists the 10 TRI carcinogens released in the largest quantities to air, water, and land in 1994.

Chapter 2: Prevention and Management of TRI Chemicals in Waste

The Pollution Prevention Act of 1990 (PPA) expanded TRI to require reporting about quantities of TRI chemicals managed in waste and about source reduction activities undertaken to eliminate or reduce those quantities. Under the PPA, source reduction is considered the preferred approach to managing waste. Figure E-15 illustrates a hierarchy for waste management decision-making, with disposal of waste the last resort.

Figure E-16 illustrates the quantities of TRI chemicals undergoing each on-site and off-site waste management activity (recycling, energy recovery, treatment, and release/disposal). Facilities managed more than 26.5 billion pounds of TRI chemicals in waste in 1994.

Figure E-17 shows the top 10 industries for total production-related waste in 1994. The chemicals, primary metals, and paper industries generated the most toxic chemicals in production-related waste in 1994. These same three industries also ranked highest for total releases of TRI chemicals.

Figure E-18 shows the quantities of TRI chemicals managed in waste for 1991 through 1996. Quantities for 1995 and 1996 are facility projections, not reports of amounts actually generated. The quantity of toxic chemicals in waste increased 5.4% between 1993 and 1994 and was projected to continue to increase.

The following page shows the 10 chemicals undergoing each waste management activity in the largest quantities.

Source Reduction Activities, 1994

Facilities also must provide information about source reduction activities they implemented during the reporting year. Source reduction activities reduce the amount of a toxic chemical entering a waste stream and therefore prevent pollution before it is generated.

Waste management activities such as recycling are not considered source reduction because they manage toxic chemicals after they enter waste streams.

Thirty-two percent of all TRI facilities reported at least one source reduction activity in 1994. Table E-12 lists the categories of source reduction activities and their reporting frequency. Table E-13 lists the top 10 industries based on the percentage of forms reporting source reduction. Table E-14 lists the 10 chemicals for which source reduction was reported the most often.

Chapter 3: Year-to-Year Comparison of Releases and Transfers

Reported toxic chemical releases decreased by nearly 8.6% between 1993 and 1994. Decreased surface water discharges from just two facilities in Louisiana accounted for most of the decline. Excluding these two facilities, total releases declined 1.6% since 1993. Transfers increased by nearly 7.4% since 1993, primarily due to increased transfers for recycling. Table E-15 compares the 1993 and 1994 release and transfer quantities. Since 1988, EPA's baseline year for TRI comparisons, releases have declined by 44.1%. Figure E-19 illustrates the change in each release type since 1988.

1993-1994 Change in Total Releases by State (Includes Underground Injection)

Figure E-20 presents the 10 states with the largest poundage decrease in total releases (including underground injection) between 1993 and 1994. Figure E-21 illustrates the percentage change in total releases between 1993 and 1994 for each state.

Twenty-two states and territories reported decreases in total releases of more than 10% since 1993. In contrast, seven states reported increases in total releases of more than 10% since 1993.

1988-1994 Change in Total Releases by State (Includes Underground Injection)

Figure E-22 presents the 10 states with the largest quantity decrease in total releases (including underground injection) between 1988 and 1994. Figure E-23 displays the states by percentage change in total releases between 1988 and 1994.

Twenty-two states have reduced their total releases by more than 50% since 1988. Five of these states have reduced their releases by more than 70% since 1988. Only three states and the District of Columbia have reported an increase in total releases since 1988.

Change in Total Releases by Industry

Figure E-24 displays the 10 industries with the largest quantity decrease in total releases (including underground injection) between 1993 and 1994. Figure E-25 displays the 10 industries with the largest quantity decrease in total releases between 1988 and 1994.

Although the chemical industry has experienced the largest decrease in terms of pounds since 1988, several industries have experienced larger percentage reductions in total releases. For example, the electrical equipment industry has reduced its releases by 75.0% since 1988, compared to 47.0% for the chemical industry. Table E-16 lists the top 10 industries for percentage decrease in total releases since 1988.

Change in Total Releases by Chemical

Table E-17 lists the 10 chemicals with the largest quantity decrease in total releases (including underground injection) between 1993 and 1994. Phosphoric acid releases declined by nearly 134 million pounds, or 63.0%, due to decreased releases from two fertilizer facilities in Louisiana. Releases of 1,1,1-trichloroethane declined by nearly 27 million pounds, or 41.3%. Releases of Freon 113 declined by nearly 5 million pounds, or 48.6%, since 1993. Both 1,1,1-trichloroethane and Freon 113 are ozone-depleting chemicals whose production was banned as of January 1, 1996.

Table E-18 lists the 10 chemicals with the largest quantity decrease in total releases (including underground injection) between 1988 and 1994.

Table E-19 lists the 10 chemicals with the largest increases in total releases (including underground injection) between 1988 and 1994.

Chapter 4: TRI Reporting Profiles for 33/50 Program Chemicals

The 33/50 Program is an EPA voluntary pollution reduction initiative that targets 17 high-priority TRI chemicals (see Box E-6) for reductions in releases and transfers. The Program derives its name from its national goals_an interim reduction of 33% in 1992 and an ultimate reduction of 50% in 1995, using 1988 TRI reporting as a baseline. These goals translate to a reduction of nearly 750 million pounds of pollution from the nearly 1.5 billion pounds reported to TRI for 1988 (the program excludes transfers to recycling and energy recovery, which were not reported to TRI until 1991). The 33/50 Program is one of a broad group of EPA activities designed to encourage source reduction, or pollution prevention, as the best means of reducing pollution.

33/50 Hits the Mark

The 33/50 Program has proven to be remarkably successful. Spearheaded by the efforts of its 1,300 corporate participants (which own more than 6,000 TRI facilities), 33/50 surpassed its ultimate 50% reduction goal in 1994, a year ahead of schedule (see Figure E-26). Releases and transfers of 33/50's 17 target chemicals were reduced by an additional 62 million pounds (7.8%) in 1994, bringing total reductions since 1988 to 757 million pounds and exceeding the Program's 50% national pollution reduction goal by more than 10 million pounds. 33/50's interim 1992 33% reduction goal was also achieved a year early and ultimately exceeded by more than 100 million pounds.

33/50 Chemicals Outpace Other TRI Reductions

Reduction of 33/50 chemicals is even more striking when compared to the reduction pace for other TRI chemicals. Since the Program's announcement in 1991, 33/50 chemicals have been reduced at nearly twice the rate observed for all other TRI chemicals (41.6% vs. 22.3%; 7.8% vs. 3.5% in 1994). This accelerating trend represents a complete reversal of the pattern prior to 33/50's initiation. Between 1988 and 1990, emissions of other TRI chemicals were reduced substantially more than 33/50 Program chemicals: 20.2% vs. 15.5% (see Figure E-27).

33/50 Participants Account for Most Reductions

33/50 participants accounted for nearly half (46%) of the total reduction in Program chemical releases and transfers in 1994. Since the Program began in 1991, participants have accounted for 70% of the reductions and 561 million pounds (74%) of the 757 million pounds reduced since 1988.

Since 1988, facilities owned by participants have reduced their releases and transfers of 33/50 Program chemicals by 60%, compared with a 35% reduction by non-participants.

33/50 Chemicals in Production Waste Projected to Decline

33/50 Program chemicals in production-related waste increased slightly (1.6%) in 1994, but at a significantly lower rate than observed for other TRI chemicals in waste (5.8%, see Figure E-28). Since 1991, 33/50 chemicals in product waste have decreased slightly (0.9%), while other TRI chemicals in waste have increased significantly (9.2%). 33/50 chemicals in waste are projected to decline by 4.5% in 1995 and more than 7% by 1996, while facilities expect other TRI chemical wastes to continue increasing (4.3% in 1995 and 6% by 1996).

33/50 Participants Project Big Decrease in Waste

Facilities owned by 33/50 Program participating companies reported a slight increase in production-related waste (0.2%) while facilities owned by non-participating parent companies reported a 3.4% increase. Participating companies' facilities project a 13.4% decrease in production-related waste of 33/50 chemicals by 1996, compared to a 1.2% increase projected by non-participants.

33/50 Chemicals Targeted for More Source Reduction Activities

33/50 chemicals, as a group and individually, are being targeted for more source reduction activities than are other TRI chemicals. 43% of the Form Rs reporting a source reduction activity during 1994 were for the Program's 17 target chemicals. Thirty percent of 33/50 chemical Form Rs reported the occurrence of source reduction, compared to 20% of the forms submitted for other TRI chemicals. Individual 33/50 Program chemicals had some of the highest levels of reporting on source reduction. Three of the top five TRI chemicals with the greatest number of Form Rs reporting source reduction activities in 1994 are 33/50 chemicals [toluene, xylene (mixed isomers), and methyl ethyl ketone].

33/50 Program Wrapping Up

1995 has come and gone the 33/50 Program's ultimate 50% pollution reduction goal has been achieved_a year ahead of schedule. Industries' efforts to meet 33/50's challenges have concluded in many cases, though many companies set environmental goals that extend years into the future and others are drawing on momentum established through their Program participation to continue their voluntary reduction efforts on their own. At EPA, the

33/50 Program staff are putting the finishing touches on the Agency's flagship partnership experiment.

EPA intends to co-sponsor a national conference in September 1996 to celebrate the success of 33/50 and to explore ways of building even more successful partnerships in the future. In connection with this conference, 33/50 will be thanking all 1,300 participants for their contributions to the early achievement of the Program's pollution reduction goals.

EPA is also compiling 33/50 Program Success Stories, written by participants and featuring reduction projects they implemented to achieve 33/50 reductions. Success Stories will be distributed in hard copy and electronic format via the Internet as an entire compendium and in custom groups based on readers' interests in chemicals, processes, sectors, and pollution reduction techniques.

Chapter 5: TRI Reporting by Federal Facilities

On-site Releases

As a result of Presidential Executive Order 12856, Federal facilities were required to report to TRI for the first time in 1994. A total of 191 Federal facilities filed 686 TRI reports.

Releases reported by Federal facilities totaled 9.8 million pounds in 1994. Figure E-29 shows the distribution of Federal facility releases by release medium. Air emissions constituted nearly 84% of all releases from Federal facilities in 1994, compared to nearly 69% for all TRI facilities.

The Department of Defense reported 7.1 million pounds of releases from 127 facilities. This represents nearly 73% of all releases from Federal facilities. Table E-20 shows the number of reporting facilities and the total reported releases for each agency in 1994. Figure E-30 shows the distribution of TRI releases by agency.

Off-site Transfers

Federal facilities reported transferring off-site 10.4 million pounds of toxic chemicals in waste in 1994. Figure E-31 shows the distribution of TRI transfers, by type of transfer.

About 5.2 million pounds (50%) of toxic chemicals in waste were transferred off-site by Federal facilities to be recycled. Transfers off-site for disposal totalled nearly 2.7 million pounds (nearly 26%). Transfers off-site for treatment totalled 1.6 million pounds, or nearly 16%. Transfers for energy recovery totaled 0.6 million pounds, or nearly 6%.

Table E-21 shows the total transfers reported by each Federal agency for 1994. Figure E-32 shows the distribution of TRI transfers by agency.

Department of Defense facilities reported 9.9 million pounds of transfers in 1994, nearly 95% of all TRI transfers from Federal facilities. More than 71% of the transfers from Department of Defense facilities were reported by Army facilities.

Waste Management and Pollution Prevention Data

Federal facilities reported managing nearly 30.0 million pounds of toxic chemicals in waste in 1994. Nearly 39% of that amount was released to the environment (including disposal). Nearly 30% was recycled, either on-site or off-site. Figure E-33 shows the amount and percentage of TRI chemicals in waste undergoing each waste management activity.

Federal facilities projected that the quantity of TRI chemicals they manage in waste will decline to about 24.4 million pounds by 1996.

Forty-eight percent of all Federal facilities reported undertaking at least one source reduction activity in 1994. Source reduction activities were reported on nearly 38% of all forms from Federal facilities. Table E-22 shows source reduction activity reporting by each agency.

Source: USEPA 1994 Toxics Release Inventory Public Data Release: Executive Summary (EPA 745-S-96-001, June 1996).

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