TRI National Analysis

Water Releases by Industry in the 2015 TRI National Analysis

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This pie chart shows the industry sectors that reported the greatest releases of toxic chemicals to water bodies in 2015.

  • The food manufacturing sector accounted for approximately one-third of water releases in 2015, which is similar to its contribution over the past 10 years.
  • Nitrate compounds accounted for 98% of the releases to water from the food manufacturing sector. Nitrate compounds are relatively less toxic to humans than many other TRI chemicals discharged to surface waters, but are formed in large quantities by this sector during wastewater treatment processes due to the high biological content of wastewater.
  • Surface water discharges are often regulated by other EPA programs as well, such as the program established under the Clean Water Act that issues National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permits. A NPDES permit is typically a license for a facility to discharge a specified amount of a pollutant into a receiving body of water under certain conditions.

This page was published in January 2017 and uses the 2015 TRI National Analysis dataset made public in TRI Explorer in October 2016.

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