Toxic Release Inventory
Facilities using more than an established threshold amount of certain chemicals must report releases of these chemicals to the environment or transfers to off-site facilities. The facility provides this information yearly to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and to the Utah Department of Environmental Quality. UDEQ compiles this information into a report called the Toxic Release Inventory (TRI).
More than 600 chemicals and chemical categories are included in the reporting list. Reported chemicals are those that are considered highly persistent in the environment, that bioaccumulate, or that are highly toxic.
Releases of chemicals into the air, land, and water; transfers to POTWs (Publicly Owned Treatment Works) and other off-site transfers; and total on- and off-site releases must be reported.
Before 1998, TRI data included reports from manufacturing and federally owned facilities. Beginning in 1998, however, several additional industrial sectors were required by the EPA to submit reports. These additional industrial sectors include: coal mining, metal mining, electrical generation facilities combusting coal or oil, hazardous waste disposal, wholesale bulk petroleum distribution, chemical wholesale distribution, and solvent recycling.
Facilities Completing Reports
In 1999, 171 Utah facilities filed a total of 687 reports for 105 different listed chemicals. Of these, nearly 75 percent were located in Weber, Davis, Salt Lake, and Utah counties.
TRI Data Use
The public can use TRI data to identify potential concerns. Governments can use TRI data to evaluate environmental programs and establish regulatory priorities.
The TRI can provide basic information on the types and volumes of waste being generated or managed at a facility. In connection with other data, it can be utilized to study and identify potential hazards to public health or the environment.
Furthermore, the TRI can be used to establish reduction targets and document reduction progress.