Friday, January 6, 2012

Chemical Pollution Increased Nationally and in New Jersey from 2009 to 2010

The EPA released its 25th annual report, the Toxic Release Inventory, on the reported toxic chemicals released to the environment in 2010 by industrial facilities.  Chemical releases also increased by 16 % nationally despite a downward trend over the last decade.  In New Jersey, 411 facilities report discharges of chemicals into the air, land, and water.  Over 16 million pounds of some 150 chemicals were released in NJ in 2010 – about 3 million pounds more than in 2009.  The change was attributed largely to increased wastewater discharges from the DuPont Chambers Works, Conoco Phillips and Paulsboro Refining Co. LLC.  New York’s releases were about 22.9 million pounds for both years.

Thanks to ocean champion New Jersey Senator Frank Lautenberg, who authored legislation in 1986 as part of the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act, this information on pollution is compiled and made available to the public. This information is valuable to manage waste streams and identify whre pollution prevention can be most effective.

Chemical releases have costly and negative public health and environmental impacts – affecting our air and water quality.  Air pollutants, such as mercury, can end up our waterways and the ocean and enter marine food webs.  Toxins can injure and be deadly to marine life.  Poor air and drinking water quality and contamination of shellfish and fishery resources call all impact human health.  Chemical releases also can contaminate the seafloor - harming marine life and making sediments that fill in navigational channels and port areas more expensive to dredge and manage.  Overall - the public pays the high costs of this pollution.

Although many facilities have pollution control devices, more efforts are clearly needed to reduce chemical pollution form industrial facilities.

For more info, visit:
To view an area fact sheet, visit: 
For program overview, visit:

EPA has a web application for mobile devices called, myRight-To-Know.   For any location or address, myRTK maps nearby facilities that report to then Toxics Release Inventory (TRI), as well as large permit holders in EPA's Air, Water or Hazardous Waste programs that are expected to produce, manage or release TRI-reportable chemicals. For myRTK, visit:

No comments:

Post a Comment