EPA issues state toxic chemical data for 2011 | TheUnion.com

EPA issues state toxic chemical data for 2011

The Union staff

Toxic chemicals managed, treated or released into the environment from facilities operating in California increased in 2011 when compared to 2010, according to the latest Toxics Release Inventory data available from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

"Community Right-to-Know data helps all of us remain aware of the types and amounts of chemicals being used in our neighborhoods," said Jared Blumenfeld, the EPA's regional administrator for the Pacific Southwest.

"It is great to see pollution prevention activities at reporting facilities, and we encourage them to reduce their chemical releases via this method."

A total of 1,265 California facilities reported a total of 38 million pounds of toxic chemicals released during 2011.

“Community Right-to-Know data helps all of us remain aware of the types and amounts of chemicals being used in our neighborhoods.”

— Jared blumenfeld, EPA

California's total reported on-site and off-site releases increased 10 percent (3 million pounds) when compared to 2010 data.

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Data from 2011 in California show:

— Air quality: Air releases decreased 13 percent (one million pounds) since 2010.

— Water quality: Water releases increased 10 percent (258 thousand pounds) since 2010.

— On-site land: On-site land releases increased 9 percent (2 million pounds) since 2010.

— Underground injection: Underground Injection releases decreased 67 percent (2.5 million pounds) since 2010.

— Off-site transfers: Total off-site transfers have increased 72 percent (2.5 million pounds) since 2010.

For detailed state information and the state's top 10 releasing facilities, see the state fact sheet at:

http://epa.gov/region09/toxic/tri/ or http://epa.gov/ triexplorer/statefactsheet.htm.

Release data alone are not sufficient to determine exposure or to calculate potential risks to human health and the environment.

The data, in conjunction with other information, such as the toxicity of the chemical, the release medium (e.g., air) and site-specific conditions, may be used in evaluating exposures that may result from releases of toxic chemicals.

The EPA has a new tracking tool that features facilities that reported they have new pollution prevention practices that have often reduced their releases of toxic release inventory chemicals.

The tool can be found at http://epa.gov/tri/p2.

The tool can be used to track and compare facility prevention practices performance, identify facilities that reported reductions in toxic chemical releases due to prevention efforts, identify the prevention practices measures that were effective for a given industry or chemical, compare waste management practices of facilities within a sector and view trends in waste management practices for facilities over several years.

In 2012, the EPA reached out to hundreds of communities nationwide through workshops, video conferences and webinars to help communities to use data better to protect their environments.

Grassroots partners in environmental justice communities, such as the Center for Community Action and Environmental Justice in Jurupa Valley, Calif., helped the EPA improve its outreach approaches to serve diverse neighborhoods better.

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