EPA: Toxic Chemical Releases Dropped 21% from 2013-2022

March 22, 2024
Nearly 90% of facilities reporting toxic releases managed chemical waste through EPA preferred practices, such as recycling, energy recovery and treatment.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency said March 21 that environmental releases of Toxics Release Inventory (TRI) chemicals from facilities covered by the program were 21% lower in 2022 compared to 2013. This includes a 26% decrease in air releases.

During this 10-year period, releases from manufacturing facilities decreased by 9% while the value added to the U.S. economy from manufacturing increased by 14%, according to the EPA. While overall releases increased by 1% from 2021 to 2022, there was a 6.5% increase in the number of pollution prevention activities reported under the TRI program compared to 2021.

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

More than 21,000 facilities 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 reporting.

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