News Releases from Region 01
EPA Analysis Shows Increased Toxic Chemical Releases in Rhode Island in 2015
Ten-year trend shows major reductions of emissions in New England
BOSTON - EPA's most recent Toxic Release Inventory (TRI) data is now available for the reporting year of 2015. In Rhode Island, the reporting data show that overall releases of pollutants to the environment increased since the previous reporting year (2014). However, the analysis shows a 25 percent decrease of reported chemical releases in Rhode Island from 2005 to 2015.
During 2015, the latest year for which data are available, approximately 15.1 million pounds of chemicals were released in the six New England states, a reduction of about 1.3 million pounds (decreased by 8.3 percent) from 2014 (the previous reporting year). During this period, total air emissions in New England were reduced by 9.4 percent.
Between 2005 and 2015, New England facilities reduced their total on- & off-site disposals and other releases by 50.1 percent. During this span of 10 years, New England facilities reduced their air emissions by 70.9 percent – exceeding the national air trend of a 50 percent reduction.
In Rhode Island, 88 facilities reported in 2015 approximately 460,542 pounds (an increase of 101,908 pounds, or 28 percent). Since 2005, reporting facilities in Rhode Island have reduced their releases from 614,386 pounds to under a half million pounds (25 percent reduction).
TRI information is a key part of EPA's efforts to provide greater access to environmental information and get information to the public as quickly as possible. TRI reporting provides Americans with vital information about their communities by publishing information on toxic chemical disposals and releases into the air, land and water, as well as information on waste management and pollution prevention activities in neighborhoods across the country. Data from the Toxic Release Inventory is an important tool for citizens to know what chemicals are used in their communities, and what companies are doing to prevent pollution.
"The trends that show steady declines of chemicals being released into New England's air, water and land show without any doubt that we can have a strong and growing economy while enjoying a clean, healthy and protected environment," said Curt Spalding, regional administrator of EPA's New England office. "It's also a testament to American ingenuity and know-how, to see our companies and citizens respond to the call to reduce harmful emissions while continuing to prosper."
Each year, EPA makes publicly available TRI data reported by industries throughout the United States regarding chemical releases to air, water and land by power plants, manufacturers and other facilities which employ ten or more workers, and which exceed thresholds for chemicals. Reporting includes information on chemicals released at a company's facility, as well as those transported to disposal facilities off site. TRI data do not reflect the relative toxicity of the chemicals emitted or potential exposure to people living in a community with reported releases.
Reporting under TRI does not indicate illegal discharges of pollutants to the environment. EPA works closely with states to provide regulatory oversight of facilities that generate pollution to the nation's air, land and water. Effective review and permitting programs work to ensure that the public and the environment are not subjected to unhealthful levels of pollution, even as agencies work to further reduce emissions of chemicals to the environment. Enforcement efforts by EPA and states ensure that facilities that violate their environmental permits are subject to penalties and corrective action. Yearly releases by individual facilities can vary due to factors such as power outages, production variability, lulls in the business cycle, etc., that do not reflect a facility's pollution prevention program(s).
The top ten chemicals released to the environment on- and off-site during 2014 in Rhode Island were:
|Total On- and Off-site Disposal or Other Releases
|XYLENE (MIXED ISOMERS)
The ten facilities that reported the largest quantity of on- and off-site environmental releases in Rhode Island under TRI for 2015 were:
|Total On- and Off-site Disposal or Other Releases
|OCEAN STATE POWER, HARRISVILLE
|NEWPORT BIODIESEL INC., NEWPORT
|PROVIDENCE METALLIZING CO INC., PAWTUCKET
|SENESCO MAIN YARD, NORTH KINGSTOWN
|GENERAL CABLE INDUSTRIES LLC., LINCOLN
|EXXONMOBIL OIL CORP., EAST PROVIDENCE
|DEWAL INDUSTRIES INC., NARRAGANSETT
|NEW ENGLAND UNION CO INC., WEST WARWICK
|TORAY PLASTICS (AMERICA) INC., NORTH KINGSTOWN
TRI data are submitted annually to EPA, states, and tribes by facilities in industry sectors such as manufacturing, metal mining, electric utilities, and commercial hazardous waste. Under the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA), facilities must report their toxic chemical releases for the prior year to EPA by July 1 of each year. The Pollution Prevention Act of 1990 also requires facilities to submit information on pollution prevention and other waste management activities related to TRI chemicals. Nationwide, nearly 22,000 facilities submitted TRI data for calendar year 2015.
EPA will hold training workshops to assist facility managers to understand and comply with TRI reporting requirements during the spring of 2017 in each of the six New England states.