Thursday, March 22, 2007

EPA tries to bury the news: chemical releases INCREASED in 2005

There were plenty of words in an afternoon EPA press release, but EPA tried to bury the news -- that toxic chemical releases actually increased in 2005 from 2004 levels. No wonder the Bush administration has tried to reduce public reporting of this information.

EPA notes in the fine print that the biggest increases came in metals mining and from the electric power industry. I’d say we are quite a ways from declaring success.

Here is the fine print, contained in the “Summary of Key Findings”

http://www.epa.gov/tri/tridata/tri05/pdfs/Key_Findings.pdf

How do the 2005 TRI data compare to the 2004 TRI data?
In this section, we present both net changes from 2004 to 2005, and underlying shifts in
management methods.
Overall, when compared to quantities reported for the previous year (2004), total disposal or other
releases of TRI chemicals showed an increase of 117 million pounds (3%).
• On-site disposal or other releases increased by 92
million pounds (2%).
► Surface impoundments other than RCRA Subtitle C
surface impoundments increased by 67 million
pounds (9%),
► Land disposal other than landfills (such as waste
piles, spills and leaks) increased by 54 million
pounds (10%),
► RCRA Subtitle C landfills increased by 3 million
pounds (2%),
► Surface water releases increased by 5 million
pounds (2%),
► Land treatment increased by 1 million pounds
(6%), and
► Class I underground injection wells increased by over 163,000 pounds (0.1%),
► However, air emissions decreased by 29 million pounds (2%)
► Class II-V underground injection wells decreased by 8 million pounds (27%), and
► RCRA Subtitle C surface impoundments decreased by 3 million pounds (43%).

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