Chemical Releases Increased In 2013 | Chemical & Engineering News
Volume 93 Issue 3 | p. 21 | Concentrates
Issue Date: January 19, 2015

Chemical Releases Increased In 2013

Department: Government & Policy
Keywords: Toxic Release Inventory, metal mining, land disposal, recycling, air emissions

Industrial facilities released into the environment or disposed of 15% more toxic chemicals in 2013 than in 2012, largely owing to increased on-site land disposal in the metal mining sector, according to EPA data. The agency’s annual Toxics Release Inventory (TRI) report also shows that facilities increased their air emissions by 1% during the period because of greater chemical production and electric utilities that generated more power. But over the past decade, total toxics releases have dropped 7% as a result of lower emissions from electric utilities as they install new pollution control technologies and shift away from coal. The TRI analysis tracks more than 650 chemicals that are released either into the air or water or are processed at recycling or disposal facilities. Of the 26 billion lb of toxic chemical waste generated in 2013, the agency says 84% was disposed of using preferred practices such as recycling. A total of 21,598 facilities filed reports under the TRI program last year. Companies that generate the chemicals at levels above certain quantities are required to disclose the information under federal law.

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