Summary of the 2015 TRI National Analysis
The Toxics Release Inventory (TRI) National Analysis is developed on an annual basis, and the 2015 TRI National Analysis is EPA's summary and interpretation of TRI data reported for activities that occurred at facilities during 2015. It offers a starting point for understanding how the environment and communities may be affected by toxic chemicals, and is presented as a snapshot of the data at one point in time. Any TRI reporting forms submitted to EPA after the July 1 reporting deadline may not be processed in time to be included in the National Analysis. The most recent data available are accessible from the TRI Data and Tools webpage.
Users of TRI data should be aware that the TRI database includes information on the quantities of many toxic chemicals that are released or otherwise managed as waste by industrial facilities, but it does not contain such information on all toxic chemicals or all industry sectors of the U.S. economy. Additionally, covered facilities report the quantities of chemicals to TRI using their best-available data. Each year, EPA conducts an extensive data quality investigation before publishing the National Analysis. During the data quality review, potential errors are identified and investigated to help ensure that accurate and useful information is presented in the National Analysis and TRI database.
The two pie charts below show: 1) how facilities reporting to TRI managed their toxic chemical waste; and 2) the disposition of the waste that was disposed of or otherwise released.
- 21,849 facilities reported to the TRI Program.
- Facilities reported managing 27.24 billion pounds of toxic chemicals in production-related waste. This is the quantity of toxic chemicals in waste that is recycled, burned for energy recovery, treated, disposed of or otherwise released. In other words, it encompasses the toxic chemicals in waste generated in the regular production processes and operations of the facilities that reported to TRI.
- Of this total, 87% (23.84 billion pounds) was recycled, burned for energy recovery, or treated, and 13% was disposed of or otherwise released to the environment, as illustrated in the Production-Related Waste Managed pie chart.
For chemical wastes that were disposed of or otherwise released, facilities also reported where wastes were released – to air, water, or land, on-site or off-site. As shown in the Disposal or Other Releases pie chart, most were disposed of on-site to land (including landfills, other land disposal, and underground injection).
A current list of the chemicals reportable to the TRI Program is available on the TRI chemicals webpage. The list of chemicals has changed over the years; as a result, trend graphs in the TRI National Analysis include only those chemicals that were reportable for the entire time period presented so that the year-to-year data are comparable. Results which focus only on the year 2015 include all chemicals reportable in 2015 and may be slightly different from results in trend analyses that include 2015 and previous years.
Additional information is presented in the following chapters of the TRI National Analysis:
- Pollution Prevention and Waste Management presents the types of pollution prevention activities that facilities have implemented, and trends on recycling, energy recovery, treatment, and releases of toxic chemicals.
- Releases of Chemicals presents trends in releases of toxic chemicals to air, water, and land, including a focus on selected chemicals of special concern.
- Industry Sectors highlights toxic chemical waste management trends for five industry sectors: manufacturing, food processing, chemical manufacturing, metal mining, and electric utilities.
- Where You Live presents analyses of the quantities of TRI chemicals specific to: state, city, county, zip code, metropolitan area or micropolitan area, and by Large Aquatic Ecosystems (LAEs) such as the Chesapeake Bay, as well as information about facilities in Indian Country.
- TRI and Beyond presents TRI data with other EPA data, such as greenhouse gas emissions, providing a more complete picture of national trends in chemical use, management, and releases of the chemicals, and overall environmental performance by facilities.
To conduct your own analysis of TRI data, use one of EPA's TRI data access and analysis tools available to the public from the TRI Data and Tools webpage.
This page was published in January 2017 and uses the 2015 TRI National Analysis dataset made public in TRI Explorer in October 2016.