DOVER – The annual Toxics Release Inventory (TRI) data report from Delaware’s industrial facilities as compiled by the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control’s Emergency Prevention and Response Section continues to show the state’s progress in reducing toxic releases into the environment. TRI data from 2016 (the most recent year for which statistics are available) shows a decrease in onsite releases to land, air and water – all as compared to DNREC’s 2015 TRI figures.
Total onsite releases were down 27 percent in Delaware for 2016 – with releases to land down 24 percent, releases to air down 23 percent and releases to water down 27 percent. Onsite releases represent only a very small portion of total TRI reported waste. For 2016, less than 1 percent of the total-reported TRI waste was released onsite, while 2.7 percent was transferred off-site for treatment or disposal, and 96.5 percent was managed onsite through treatment, energy recovery, and recycling operations by the facilities generating the waste. Total waste for 2016 was down 9 percent compared with 2015.
“The 2016 TRI reporting offers the consensus that Delaware’s manufacturing and industrial facilities continue to keep productivity high while working responsibly with concern for our environment,” said DNREC Secretary Shawn M. Garvin. “The latest TRI data set further confirms that what began almost 15 years as a trend in decreasing toxic releases to our air, land and water has become the rule for the state’s reporting facilities. Today’s TRI reporting is attributable to enhanced technology, industry best practices, regulatory requirements and the public’s expectations for a cleaner environment – expectations which DNREC works every day to meet for protecting public health and preventing environmental risks. However, we must stay vigilant to ensure these trends continue to decrease.”
The major changes impacting the increases and decreases for the year are covered below in the Delaware TRI summary and in greater detail throughout the report. Releases to air, land and water in Delaware are permitted by DNREC under environmental standards at both the national and state level. Permits granted by the department allow for limited discharge of pollutants within these standards that have been established both for protecting the environment and public health.
Please refer to the fact sheet below for background on TRI and a summary of the 2016 TRI data. The full TRI 2016 report and data are available on the Delaware Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know website and on the Delaware Open Data Portal.
What is TRI?
The Toxics Release Inventory (TRI) is a publicly available data set containing information reported annually since 1987 for toxic chemicals manufactured, processed, or otherwise used by certain facilities in Delaware and throughout the United States. TRI was established in 1986 under Title III, Section 313, of the Federal Superfund Amendments and Reauthorization Act (SARA 313) to provide information to the public about the presence and release of toxic chemicals in their communities. Title III is also known as the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA).
Who must report?
Facilities that are required to report to the government under TRI must meet the following criteria:
What is reported?
Facilities submit reports to Delaware’s Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control (DNREC) and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on the waste management activities for the covered TRI chemicals. These activities include:
Data from Delaware facilities is compiled by DNREC and the results are summarized in an annual report. A national analysis of the TRI data is provided by EPA’s annual report. It is noteworthy that TRI only requires reporting of releases and waste management activities, but not amounts used. The control of those releases is achieved separately through a variety of DNREC and EPA permits, laws and regulations.
Delaware 2016 TRI Results Summary
For 2016, 59 facilities submitted reports for 85 different chemicals. Approximately 3.4 million pounds were reported as being released on-site, a decrease of 1,223,000 pounds or 27 percent compared to 2015. Of this amount, approximately 22,000 pounds were released to land, while 546,000 pounds were released to air, and approximately 2.8 million pounds were released to water.
To Land: The total amount released on-site to land decreased by 7,000 pounds (24 percent) compared to 2015.
To Air: The total amount of TRI chemicals reported as released on-site to air for 2016 decreased by 166,000 pounds (23 percent), compared to 2015.
To Water: The total amount released onsite to water decreased by 1,050,000 pounds (27 percent) compared to 2015.
Media contact: Michael Globetti, DNREC Public Affairs, 302-739-9902
Vol. 48, No. 3
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