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Industry pollution increased in 1999, says EPA

May 4, 2001
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The total quantity of all types of pollution tracked by the federal government increased 323 million pounds, or 1.4 percent, from 1998 to 1999.

EPA’s Toxics Release Inventory tracks chemicals released as waste into the air, water or land, and other types of wastes, such as chemicals that are recycled, burned for energy recovery, or treated on- or off-site. The TRI includes information on 644 toxic chemicals and chemical compounds reported by industry.

Looking at all types of wastes, the total quantity increased by five percent, or almost one billion pounds, since facilities began reporting other waste management data in 1991.

Over the 12-year history of the program, chemical emissions have decreased 46 percent (about 1.5 billion pounds) in manufacturing industries, with a 2.5 percent decrease occurring between 1998 and 1999.

The largest increase in total releases from 1998 to 1999 was reported by metal mining — an increase of 416.3 million pounds, or 11.7 percent.

The largest volume of chemical releases for all industries was reported by facilities in Nevada, followed by Utah, Arizona, Alaska, Texas, Ohio, New Mexico, Pennsylvania, Indiana, and Illinois, in that order.

The 1999 Toxics Release Inventory data and background information on the TRI program are available at http://www.epa.gov/tri.

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