New data unveiled by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) points to a significant reduction in the amount of chemical contaminants introduced into the environment in the U.S. during 2022. The 2022 Toxics Release Inventory (TRI) National Analysis confirms that environmental releases of TRI chemicals from facilities covered by the program were 21% lower in 2022 compared to 2013.

More than 21,000 facilities in sectors such as manufacturing, mining, hazardous waste management and electric utilities submitted reports on 522 of the 827 chemicals and chemical categories for which TRI reporting is required. The remaining 305 chemicals either were not manufactured, processed or used by facilities required to report to TRI or were not manufactured, processed or used in amounts large enough to trigger data submission.

The decline documented for the 10-year period includes a 26% decrease in air releases and a 9% reduction in releases from manufacturing facilities. A 6.5% increase in the number of pollution prevention activities reported under the TRI program compared to 2021 was also noted.

In 2022, facilities reported managing 88.5% of their TRI chemical waste through preferred practices such as recycling, energy recovery and treatment, while releasing 11.5% of their TRI chemical waste into the environment.

View data by state, tribe, metropolitan area, EPA region and watershed using the “Where You Live” mapping tool. This visualization tool also allows users to view facility locations overlayed with demographic data to identify potential exposure to TRI chemical releases in communities, including overburdened communities.

To contact the author of this article, email shimmelstein@globalspec.com