According to the annual Toxics Release Inventory (TRI) summary released by US EPA, total toxic air releases in 2011 declined 8% from 2010, mostly because of decreases in hazardous air pollutant (HAP) emissions, even while total releases of toxic chemicals increased for the second year in a row.
Among the HAPs showing decline were hydrochloric acid and mercury. Likely reasons for the decreases seen over the past several years include installation of control technologies at coal fired power plants and a shift to other fuel sources. Releases into surface water decreased 3% and releases to land increased 19% since 2010, with the latter again due primarily to the metal mining sector.
The 2011 TRI data show that 4.09 billion pounds of 313 reportable chemicals were disposed of or released into the environment (i.e., air, water or land), an 8% increase from 2010. EPA attributes the difference mainly due to increases in land disposal at metal mines. Other industry sectors also saw smaller increases in releases, including the hazardous waste management sector.
Facilities must report their Section 313 chemical releases to EPA under the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA 313) by the beginning of July each year. The Pollution Prevention Act of 1990 also requires information on waste management activities related to TRI chemicals. Caltha provides technical support to facilities nationwide to determine if they have processed or otherwise used Section 313 chemicals above reporting thresholds, and if so, to assist in the preparation of Form R TRI reports.
Do you miss submitting your 2011 TRI report, which was due on July 1, 2012? Contact Caltha to discuss options for submitting late Form R Toxic Release Inventory.