Ecosystem Targets and Supporting Indicators

Industrial Chemical Discharges (TRI Data)

This indicator compiles the total amount of discharges of toxic chemicals manufactured and used at industrial facilities that are released into the Sound either by air or by water.

Show/Hide Table Data

Toxic Contaminant Releases for the LIS watershed (Pounds)
LandWaterAir
2003 112,770739,2536,716,583
200461,009515,5545,690,616
200536,368482,9095,350,229
200620,636577,3914,403,562
200759,806492,1944,152,785
200824,120256,3093,390,400
200921,313313,5032,883,511
201084,077304,5342,007,511
201137,994247,5601,484,784
201210,926227,2711,450,395
20132,370213,2971,798,986
20141,992117,0002,260,477
20152,89578,1251,427,206
201673169,1761,318,819
201798435,7141,201,874
20181,57838,5361,303,354
201993727,3811,115,800

WHAT ARE INDUSTRIAL CHEMICAL DISCHARGES?

The passage of the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act of 1986 helped to create EPA’s Toxics Release Inventory program so Americans now have a greater awareness of how chemicals are being managed in their communities. Today, nearly 22,000 facilities report annually on the use and quantities of more than 760 chemicals they release to the environment or otherwise manage as waste to the Toxics Release Inventory (TRI) program. EPA, states, and tribes receive TRI data from facilities in industry sectors such as manufacturing, mining, electric utilities, and commercial hazardous waste management. The Pollution Prevention Act also requires facilities to submit information on pollution prevention and other waste management activities of TRI chemicals.

WHAT DOES THIS INDICATE?

The decline in industrial chemical discharges indicates progress in reducing the release of contaminants into Long Island Sound’s watershed.

STATUS

Toxic releases in the Sound’s watershed have declined by more than 90 percent since the late 1980s. This is consistent with trends in toxic releases throughout the country. Facilities releasing industrial chemicals have been improved with better emissions-reducing technology.  There has also been an increase in the national awareness of the harmful effects of toxic releases. Air emissions account for the majority of on-site releases.

DATA NOTE

  • Total on-site releases include air emissions, other on-site land releases, and surface water discharges.

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