EPA Issues Annual Report on Chemicals Released Into Land, Air and Water in Puerto Rico

Release Date: 01/05/2012

Contact Information: John Martin (212) 637- 3662 martin.johnj@epa.gov


(New York, N.Y.) The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency today issued its 25th annual report on the amount of toxic chemicals released in 2010 to the land, air and water by industrial facilities in Puerto Rico. The Toxics Release Inventory (TRI) report covers 115 Puerto Rico facilities that are required to report their releases to the EPA. Total releases of chemicals in Puerto Rico were 15% lower in 2010 than in 2009. Schering Plough in Las Piedras, which recently merged with Merck, reported a decrease in air emissions. In addition, Caribbean Petroleum Refining is no longer reporting to the TRI program due to the closure of this facility.

“Transparency is a powerful tool,” said EPA Regional Administrator Judith A. Enck. “The Toxics Release Inventory allows the public and policymakers to better understand the pollutants released to our air, water and land each year and gives them the information they need to take action in their communities. The data that was released is a reminder of how important TRI has been in helping us create a healthier environment, and the work still needed to be done to reduce industrial pollution.”

Last year marked the 25th Anniversary of the Toxic Release Inventory. In 1986, New Jersey Senator Frank R. Lautenberg authored the legislation that established TRI, which was signed into law as part of the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act. Since that time, TRI data has been provided to the public annually to inform the public about the chemicals present in their local environment and gauge environmental trends over time. The inventory contains the most comprehensive information about chemicals released into the environment reported annually by certain industries and federal facilities. Many of these facilities are required to install and maintain pollution controls to meet the limits on pollution set forth in their permit.

Facilities must report their toxic chemical releases by July 1 of each year. EPA made a preliminary set of data for 2010 available in July 2011, the month the reported data was collected. Nationally, over 20,000 facilities reported on approximately 650 chemicals for calendar year 2010. 

EPA has improved this year’s TRI national analysis report by adding new information on risks, facility efforts to reduce pollution and details about how possible economic impacts could affect TRI data. With this report and EPA’s Web-based TRI tools, the public can access information about the disposals and releases of toxic chemicals into the air, water, and land that occur in their communities. Finally, EPA’s first mobile Web application for accessing TRI data, myRTK, is now available in English and Spanish, as are expanded Spanish translations of national analysis documents and Web pages.

To view an area fact sheet, visit: http://www.epa.gov/triexplorer/statefactsheet.htm 

For program overview, visit: http://www.epa.gov/tri/

For myRTK, visit: http://www.epa.gov/tri/myrtk/

Follow EPA Region 2 on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/eparegion2 and visit our Facebook page,http://www.facebook.com/eparegion2


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