In the Pacific Southwest, emissions of toxic chemicals have declined slightly in 2021, according to the EPA.
SAN FRANCISCO – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released its 2021 National Toxic Release Inventory (TRI) Analysis, which shows environmental releases of TRI chemicals from program facilities nationwide remained below pre-pandemic levels, and emissions in 2021 are 10%. lower than 2012 emissions, even with an 8% increase from 2020 to 2021. In addition, in 2021, businesses disposed of 89% of their TRI chemical waste through preferred methods such as recycling, energy recovery and treatment, while reporting that they released 11% of waste. their chemical waste SUT into the environment. In the Pacific Southwest, including the US Pacific Island Territories, the report shows a slight decline in emissions of toxic chemicals compared to 2020.
“The EPA Toxic Release List provides valuable information to communities in the Pacific Southwest and Pacific Islands about potential hazards,” said EPA Pacific Southwest Regional Administrator Martha Guzman. “We prioritize the transparency of our toxics data to help communities, local governments, state and tribal governments develop appropriate strategies to reduce pollution, especially in environmental justice communities.”
In 2021, facilities in Arizona, California, Hawaii, Nevada and the Pacific Islands reported 932 million pounds of industrial waste disposal and 554 million pounds of TRI chemicals released into the environment, representing less than 1% reduction in emissions compared to 2020 year. In the Pacific Southwest, the metals mining sector, primarily in Nevada and Arizona, accounted for 84% of chemical releases reported by TRI in 2021. Excluding metal mining, emissions from the Pacific Southwest have declined by 7.8% since 2012, with primary metals (including smelting), hazardous waste management and the oil sector reporting the highest emissions. Changes in the chemical composition of ore from iron and steel mines can result in significant annual fluctuations in the amount of metal waste reported by TRI.
The 2021 TRI National Analysis summarizes TRI’s chemical waste management activities, including releases that occurred during calendar year 2021. More than 21,000 sites have submitted reports for 531 chemicals requiring TRI reporting that they have been released into the environment or otherwise disposed of as waste. The EPA, states, and tribes receive TRI data from facilities in sectors such as manufacturing, mining, electric power, and commercial hazardous waste management.
The 2021 analysis includes updated visualizations and analytical tools to make the data more useful and accessible to communities, including the ability to view data by region and watershed. The EPA also updated the demographic information in the Where You Live mapping tool and in the Chemical Profiles section. Readers can view site locations with demographic overlays to determine the potential impact of TRI chemical releases in vulnerable communities. Community groups, policy makers and other stakeholders can use this data, along with other environmental data, to better understand which communities may bear a disproportionate burden of pollution and take action at the local level.
EPA is hosting a public webinar on March 28, 2023 to provide an overview of the 2021 national TRI analysis. Register for the webinar.
To view the 2021 TRI national analysis, including local data and analysis, visit www.epa.gov/trinationalanalysis.
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