18,904,109 Pounds of Toxins— a Decrease of 13%— Released in New York State
Contact: John Martin (212) 637-3662, martin.johnj
(New York, N.Y. – January 16, 2013) The annual U.S. Environmental Protection Agency report on the amount of toxic chemicals released to the land, air and water by industrial facilities in 2011 showed a decrease for releases in New York over the past reporting year. The Toxics Release Inventory report issued today by the EPA covered 658 New York facilities that are required to report their releases to the EPA. Total releases to land, air and water by these facilities decreased by nearly 13% from about 21.4 million pounds in 2010 to about 18.9 million pounds in 2011.
“This report informs the public about the types of pollution in our communities and where they come from,” said Judith A. Enck, EPA Regional Administrator. “It is an invaluable tool that we all can use to better understand pollution problems and guide actions to protect health and the environment. The data is a stark reminder that we need to work toward preventing pollution at its source.”
A major factor in the reduction was an 8% decrease in total air releases in New York State from 2010 to 2011. These included releases of hazardous air pollutants such as hydrochloric acid at power plants. The likely reasons for these decreases include a shift from coal to other fuel sources over the past several years.
Since 1988, Toxic Release Inventory data has been provided to the public annually to help people learn more about the chemicals present in their local environment and gauge environmental trends over time. The inventory contains the most comprehensive information about chemicals released into the environment reported annually by certain industries and federal facilities. Most of these facilities have permits issued under federal regulations that set limits on the amount of chemicals that they are allowed to release into the air, water or land.
Facilities must report their toxic chemical releases by July 1 of each year. The EPA made a preliminary set of data for 2011 available on July 31, 2012. Nationally, over 20,000 facilities reported on approximately 682 chemicals and chemical categories for calendar year 2011.
The full report is available at: National Analysis.
For program overview, visit: Overview.
To view an area fact sheet, visit: Area Fact Sheet.