2006 TRI Shows 2% Drop in Chemical Releases

Information on the 2006 reporting year now is available from EPA as part of the Toxics Release Inventory (TRI) database. Nationwide chemical releases into the environment are down by 2 percent from 2005.

The data became available Feb. 21, marking the earliest release in the 20-year history of the program. Improvements in electronic reporting and data processing have made this possible.

"Citizens have information about hundreds of chemicals at their finger tips and, we’re getting that information to them faster than ever with improvements made in electronic reporting, data processing, and analysis," said EPA's Chief Information Officer Molly O’Neill. "Making the public aware of this inventory of releases is a powerful tool for reducing pollution. From 2001 to 2006, we have seen a 24 percent decrease in total releases."

The TRI is an on-line electronic database, housing information about chemical releases at facilities across the country. TRI tracks and contains detailed information on releases of nearly 650 chemicals and chemical categories from about 23,000 industrial and federal facilities. The Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act of 1986 established the TRI program. In 1990, the Pollution Prevention Act expanded the program by including data on toxic chemicals released, as well as treated, recycled, and burned for energy recovery.

EPA has been providing information to the public about chemical releases into the air, water, and land at facilities nationwide. This information is accessible by geographic location, industry sector, and individual chemicals.

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