EPA Unveils 2019 TRI Report

Posted on 1/22/2021 by Lauren Scott

Last week, EPA released its annual Toxic Release Inventory (TRI) National Analysis for 2019. The TRI Report chronicles chemical waste management activities at public and private entities as part of Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA) compliance.

Since the new report publishes data from 2019, it is important to note these figures illustrate EPCRA compliance primarily before SARS-CoV-2 emerged on the global stage.
Read the complete 2019 TRI Report.

In 2019, private industrial companies and Federal facilities ramped up source reduction activities that aim to reduce or eliminate chemical waste, reporting the first increase in the last five years. Moreover, 89 percent of chemical-containing waste generated at these facilities was successfully managed through recycling, treatment, and energy recovery.

The TRI Report also shows most facilities identified new opportunities for source reduction was through participative team management. This suggests that many companies and Federal facilities view source reduction as a collaborative team effort.

Read more: 5 Tips for EPCRA TRI Reports Due July 1 (2019) 

Source Reduction in the Chemical Manufacturing Sector

Year over year, the chemical manufacturing sector consistently managed the most chemical waste of any TRI-covered sector. In 2019 alone, the chemical manufacturing sector managed nearly 17 billion lbs., or 55% of all chemical waste managed under TRI.

Production-related waste managed at chemical manufacturing facilities decreased in 2019 by 501 million pounds, or 3%. This decrease was largely driven by the activities of just three facilities in the sector.
Facilities found creative ways to manage and reduce their chemical waste. A few examples include:
  • A paint and coatings manufacturing facility reduced xylene waste by scheduling batches to minimize waste produced during cleanouts between batches.
  • An organic chemical manufacturing facility reduced its use of diphenylamine by changing the reaction formulation to increase batch yield and minimize the amount of unreacted material produced as waste.

Releases of Chemicals Overall and by Region

Across all industries, total disposal and other releases were reduced by 9% in 2019. This was largely due a 13% decrease in on-site land disposals.

Although Region 10 in the Pacific Northwest and Alaska manages one of the lowest amounts of product-related waste out of all regions, it accounted for over 25% of releases in 2019. These releases were largely generated by metal mines.

Region 6 in the South Central US had the largest quantity of production-related waste managed, driven by facilities in the chemical manufacturing sector treating chemicals, such as ethylene, toluene, and propylene, on site.

Is Your Facility Required Submit TRI Reporting Data?

A facility must report if it is in a covered industry sector and exceeds the established employee and chemical thresholds. EPA has created a TRI Threshold Screening Tool to help managers and executives determine if their facilities are required to report.

The deadline to report for Fiscal Year 2020 is July 1, 2021.

2021 Complete EPA Regulations Training | Jan. 26–27

Join a Lion instructor for live Complete Environmental Regulations training on January 26–27. This unique two-day webinar covers the latest environmental regulations you should be familiar with for 2021, including: 
  • EPA's new Waters of the US (WOTUS) Rule.
  • Major Lautenberg Law amendments to TSCA.
  • CSB's new chemical release reporting rule.
  • The latest Clean Air Act requirements for facilities.
Identify the EPA air, water, and chemical requirements that impact your activities. You will leave the webinar with a better understanding of how these programs fit together and what you must do to comply.  
Or learn at your own pace with these two easy-to-use online courses: 
Complete Environmental Regulations Online Course
Superfund and Right-to-Know Act Regulations

Tags: CERCLA, chemicals, environmental, EPA, EPCRA, TRI

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