TRI Pollution Prevention Search User Guide

TRI BannerTRI iconUnder the Pollution Prevention Act of 1990 (PPA), the Toxics Release Inventory (TRI) collects information to track industry progress in reducing waste generation and moving towards safer waste management alternatives. When providing this information, many facilities choose to describe the measures they have taken to prevent pollution and reduce the amount of toxic chemicals entering the environment. As a result, TRI serves as a tool for identifying effective environmental practices and highlighting pollution prevention successes.

This is a brief user's guide to the TRI Pollution Prevention Search. Select from the dropdowns detailed below to view reported information on pollution prevention activities and associated reductions in toxic chemical release quantities or to view a facility comparison report.

Select more than one search option at a time to speed up the search and make the retrieval more focused. Only those facilities matching all specified criteria will be retrieved.

Industry Selection Search Option

NAICS Code Description

The North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) Codes describe the business activities conducted at a facility or establishment. NAICS codes are 6 digit numbers used by the Bureau of Census as part of a system to categorize and track the types of business activities conducted in the United States.

The individual digits within the NAICS code indicate different levels of granularity in identifying a business. Here is an example of the granularity the individual digits provide:

No. Example
Digits NAICS Definition / Granularity
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Two 31xxxx Manufacturing
Three 311xxx Food Manufacturing
Four 3115xx Food Manufacturing, Dairy Products
Five 31151x Food Manufacturing, Dairy Products, (Not Frozen)
Six 311511 Food Manufacturing, Dairy Products, (Not Frozen), Fluid Milk

A facility may be comprised of one or more establishments. An establishment is an economic unit, generally at a single physical location, where business is conducted or where services or industrial operations are performed. Each establishment may have a unique NAICS code.

NAICS Code Selection

All Industries is the default selection. Refine the search by selecting one or more 3-4 digit and/or six digit NAICS codes. For more results, use the 3-4 digit groupings; many six digit selections may return few or no results. Six digit NAICS groupings are listed alphabetically by description. If you know the numeric code of your desired selection, the quickest way to retrieve your selection is to begin typing this number in the search box.

Chemical Selection Search Option

All Chemicals, defined as all reportable chemicals in a selected year, is the default selection. Select one or more individual chemicals to refine the search. For more results, use one of the selections under the "Commonly Searched Chemicals" header; many of the other selections may return few or no results. 

Chemicals are listed alphabetically. If you know the CAS (Chemical Abstracts Service) number of your desired selection, the quickest way to retrieve your selection is to begin typing this number in the search box. 

Additionally specific "group of chemicals" may be searched within the Chemical Selection list. These are under the "Chemical Groups" header. For a list of chemicals within the group, please see the links below:

Year Selection Search Option

2005-2012 is the default selection, or select one or more calendar years (or reporting years) for which the data are reported. 2005-2012 is the default selection because pollution prevention text entries (reported in section 8.11 of the Form R) are not available electronically for earlier years. For years prior to 2004, the only results returned will be source reduction activity codes (reported in section 8.10 of the Form R). Note that 1991 is the first year for which any pollution prevention information is available.

State Selection Search Option

All States is the default selection. Select one or more states from the dropdown list to refine the search.

A list of the available state abbreviations and the associated state names is provided below:

Postal Abbreviations and State Names
AK = Alaska AL = Alabama AR = Arkansas
AS = American Samoa AZ = Arizona CA = California
CN = Canada CO = Colorado CT = Connecticut
DC = District of Columbia DE = Delaware FL = Florida
FM = Federated States of Micronesia GA = Georgia GU = Guam
HI = Hawaii IA = Iowa ID = Idaho
IL = Illinois IN = Indiana KS = Kansas
KY = Kentucky LA = Louisiana MA = Massachusetts
MD = Maryland ME = Maine MI = Michigan
MN = Minnesota MO = Missouri MP = Northern Mariana Islands
MS = Mississippi MT = Montana NC = North Carolina
ND = North Dakota NE = Nebraska NH = New Hampshire
NJ = New Jersey NM = New Mexico NV = Nevada
NY = New York OH = Ohio OK = Oklahoma
OR = Oregon PA = Pennsylvania PR = Puerto Rico
RI = Rhode Island SC = South Carolina SD = South Dakota
TN = Tennessee TX = Texas UT = Utah
VA = Virginia VI = Virgin Islands VT = Vermont
WA = Washington WI = Wisconsin WV = West Virginia
WY = Wyoming    

Parent Company Selection Search Option

All Parent Companies is the default. If this is selected, you will see the option to "Display Parent Company Comparison" for your selected criteria (e.g., visually compare how different parent companies in an industry manage the same chemical). 

Alternately, you may select a single parent company. In this case, you will see the option to "Compare Facilities for this Company" (i.e., to see how different facilities in the selected company manage TRI chemicals). Only parent companies with more than one TRI facility are included in the dropdown. 

This dropdown groups facilities using "standardized parent company name," a data field developed by EPA that is intended to best reflect the current ultimate US parent company for the facility. EPA developed this field to facilitate the aggregation of TRI facility-level information to the associated parent company by ensuring that each company is referenced consistently by the same name.

Report Options

The TRI Pollution Prevention Search gives two report options:

Pollution Prevention Activities Search Results

The Show P2 Activities search results list EPA-Regulated Facilities in TRI submitting Pollution Prevention Information for the selected criteria. A facility may be listed more than once if it submitted pollution prevention for multiple chemicals or in multiple years matching the search criteria. The results table consists of the variables below:

  • Facility Name
  • Address: The Address field is a combination of the following individual attributes in the TRI system:
  • Chemical - This field shows the chemical for which Pollution Prevention Information was provided. If a facility provided information for multiple chemicals, information for each chemical will appear in a separate row. This column is not shown if only a single chemical was selected in the search criteria.
  • Industry - This column is not shown if only a single industry was selected in the search criteria.
  • Year - This field shows the year for which Pollution Prevention Information was provided. If a facility provided information in multiple years, information for each year will appear in a separate row. This column is not shown if only a single year was selected in the search criteria.
  • Prior Year Release - this represents the year prior to the year shown in the "Year" column. Dioxin releases are in grams; all others are in pounds
  • Current Year Release - this represents the year shown in the "Year" column. Dioxin releases are in grams; all others are in pounds
  • Percent Change - The difference between the Prior Year Release and the Current Year Release, as a percentage of the Prior Year Release. A negative number indicates a decrease in releases. If the Prior Year Release was 0, the percent change will be displayed as "∞" (infinity)
  • Pollution Prevention Activity Codes and/or Pollution Prevention Text - If you limit your search to Pollution Prevention Text entries, activity codes will not be shown.

The results table is sorted by Percent Change in order to highlight facilities that reported the largest reductions in releases. You can access the individual pollution prevention reports for each facility-chemical combination by clicking on the P2 Details button below the facility name.

Additional Filters

The default option "Show information about source reduction AND environmental practices" displays facilities that have reported information in either section 8.10 or 8.11 of their TRI Form R submission. (excluding miscellaneous information submitted in Section 8.11 but not related to P2). Other options include:

  • "Only show information about source reduction" - excludes Section 8.11 entries that EPA has classified as unrelated to source reduction.
  • "Show ALL information reported in pollution prevention data fields" - includes all entries submitted in Section 8.11, even those that EPA has classified as unrelated to P2.
  • "Exclude facilities that reported activity codes but no text descriptions" - excludes facilities that did not enter information in section 8.11 of the TRI Form R.
  • “Show information on barriers to implementing source reduction activities” - Shows information facilities provided on barriers they face in implementing additional source reduction, recycling or pollution control activities.

Section 8.10 is a required data element in which facilities report newly implemented source reduction activities using activity codes, while section 8.11 is an optional free-text field in which facilities may submit additional details describing their pollution prevention or pollution control activities. Thus, the default option will return more results, but the last option will focus your search on submissions more likely to contain meaningful details about pollution prevention activities.

Value for Year-to-Year Comparison

You can select the value to show in the prior and current year release comparisons columns. This enables you to identify P2 activities that corresponded with the largest decreases in releases to a certain media, for example. The values are obtained from the Form R report. The column headers will update in the table and can be moused over for a brief description or clicked on to go to the metadata page for each type of release.

  • Total Waste - This option shows Sections 8.1-8.7 total from the Form R report. (i.e., total production-related waste managed).
  • Total Release - This option is the default display and shows the amounts from Section 8.1 a thru d of the Form R report.
  • Air Release - This option shows amounts from Sections 5.1 and 5.2 of the Form R Report (fugitive or non-point air emissions plus stack or point air emissions).
  • Land Release - This option shows amounts from Sections 5.4 and 5.5 of the Form R Report (underground injection plus disposal to land on-site).
  • Water Release - This option shows amount from Section 5.3 of the Form R Report (discharges to receiving streams or water bodies).

TRI Pollution Prevention Report (P2 Details)

The Pollution Prevention Report provides site information, followed by graphs for Production-Related Waste Management Quantities, and a table with Pollution Prevention Activities. A separate report may be accessed for each chemical for which the facility submitted Pollution Prevention Information.

Site Information:

  • Facility ID
  • Facility Name
  • Facility Address - is a combination of the following individual attributes in the TRI system:
  • Parent company
  • Industry
  • Chemical - To view the P2 report for a different chemical reported by the same facility, select a different chemical from the dropdown labeled "P2 data for other chemicals reported by this facility."
  • Find more P2 activities for this industry and chemical - this link will take you to the TRI Pollution Prevention Search Results page.
  • TRI Form R Submissions by this Facility - is a link to view TRI Form R Submissions for the selected Facility in the TRI system.

Production-Related Waste Management Quantities for Selected Chemical

The graphs in this portion of the report illustrate the production-related waste management quantities that facilities must report pursuant to the PPA. The pollution prevention overview provides additional information about these quantities and the waste management hierarchy to which they relate.

  • Waste Management Trends Graph - provides waste management quantities for each year dating back to 2004. The graph may extend back further if data are limited or unavailable for this period. Years on the horizontal axis that are highlighted may be clicked to view Pollution Prevention Information for that year. This graph provides four or five graphing options:
    • Display waste quantities only
    • Display production index - The production index is a measure of production in a given year relative to production in the base year. For any given year, the value of the production index is equal to the value for the prior year multiplied by the production ratio for the current year. The value in the base year is set equal to 100. The base year is either the first year shown on the graph or the first year for which production information is continuously available. (Production index values are not shown for years prior to the base year). The production index is used to put year-to-year changes in TRI quantities into the context of production. If a facility first reported a chemical in 2008 and its production index in 2011 was 150, this means that production in 2011 was 50% higher than in 2008.
    • Normalize waste quantities relative to production - Normalized production-related waste managed is a normalized measure of waste calculated by dividing the reported waste management quantity by the production index for a given year. This metric provides a rough guide to how much chemical waste would have been generated each year had production levels remained constant over time. If normalized production-related waste decreases, this means that less waste is being generated per unit of production. All quantities shown in this graph are normalized relative to production levels in the first year shown on the graph.
    • Display waste quantities as a percentage of total waste.
    • Display GHG Emissions Reported to GHGRP - this option will appear for facilities that report GHG emissions to the GHGRP.
  • Waste Management Comparison - these graphs show the pounds of the chemical Recycled, burned for Energy Recovery, Treated, and Released for the selected facility, as well as the totals for all facilities in the industry. Industry totals are typically provided for the facility's six digit NAICS code. If fewer than 10 facilities with that NAICS code reported the selected chemical, however, then totals are shown for the facility's 3-4 digit NAICS grouping. Calculations are based on facilities' primary NAICS code only. Year of data can be selected from the dropdown. There are also links below the graphs to 'Find more P2 activities for this industry and chemical' and 'Display facility comparison report for this industry and chemical'. The 'Find more P2 activities' link will take you to the TRI Pollution Prevention Search Results page for the industry and chemical displayed in the second pie chart. The 'facility comparison report' link will take you to a report with waste management quantities and trends for the industry, chemical, and year.

Pollution Prevention Activities for Selected Chemical table contains the following fields:

Facility Comparison Report

The Facility Comparison Report displays each facility's waste management quantities and trends for a selected industry, chemical, and year. The default report shows graphs that display overall waste management amounts and indicate the extent to which facilities have implemented the preferred management methods for waste that is generated.

  • Production-Related Waste Managed Graph

    This graph provides five graphing options:

    • Display Waste Quantities - the default graph shows the waste quantities for the top 30 facilities for the chemical and industry.
    • Display waste quantities as a percentage of total waste.
    • Display GHG Emissions Reported to GHGRP - The Greenhouse Gas Reporting Rule requires reporting of greenhouse gas (GHG) data AND other relevant information from large sources and suppliers in the United States to the Greenhouse Gas Reporting Program (GHGRP). While GHG data is not reported to TRI, GHGs are the primary driver of climate change which poses numerous threats to human health and welfare. This metric (which is expressed as metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent) is only available for facilities required to report their GHG emissions to the GHGRP.
    • Display 5-Year Waste Trend - The "5-Year Waste Trend" is a metric that compares current waste levels to past waste levels for each facility-chemical combination on a 3-year rolling average basis. Using RY2012 as the current year, the 5-year waste trend is calculated as 5 Year Waste Trend
    • Display 5-Year Waste Trend Normalized - The normalized 5-year waste trend represents the change in production-related waste over the past 5 years after normalizing for changes in production. The waste value is normalized by dividing the reported waste management quantity by the production index for a given year. If 2012 is the current year, this metric is equal to the percent change in average annual normalized waste from the 2006-2008 period to the 2011-2012 period.
  • Production-Related Waste Trend Graph - this graph shows the total pounds of production related waste for 1991 through the current year, broken down by management method.

Notes on waste trend graph: Regardless of the year selected for the facility comparison report, the waste trend will be calculated for the most recent 5-year period. If the metric cannot be calculated because data are unavailable, no value will be displayed.

The Facility Comparison Report table contains the following fields:

Usage Constraints

Information in the TRI database can be freely accessed through the use of this search. The complexity of the search is up to the user. Searches that return a large volume of data may terminate prematurely due to system limitations. Develop searches that return small batches of data and terminate the session as soon as the searches have been executed, so that others can access the database.