A study of annual reporting data by Kentucky industries indicates Kentucky saw a reduction in toxic environmental releases in 2011, according to the Kentucky Department for Environmental Protection (DEP).
Within Kentucky, there were a total of 423 facilities and 154 chemicals reported for the 2011 calendar year.
Under the national Toxic Release Inventory (TRI) program, industries within specific sectors that manufacture, process or use amounts of chemicals over the thresholds established by the 1986 Emergency Planning and Community Right to Know Act must report releases, transfers, disposal, reuse and recycling activities to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the corresponding state agency by July 1 of each year for the previous calendar year.
The Kentucky DEP conducted an analysis of the reporting data submitted for calendar year 2011 and compiled its report which can be downloaded at http://dca.ky.gov/Documents/KyTRIAnalysis.pdf
According to the report:
- On-site releases in Kentucky for 2011 were 73,037,155 pounds, off-site releases were 10,566,530 pounds, and total on-site and off-site releases and disposal were reported as 83,603,686 pounds in 2011.
- On-site releases decreased 11,583,364 pounds (13.7 percent) from 2010 reports, off-site releases decreased 1,761,972 pounds (14.3 percent), and total reductions of 13,345,335 pounds were reported compared to the 2010 reporting year which is a 13.8 percent decrease for total releases.
- More than 90 percent of the amount reported for TRI chemicals was attributed to recycling, treatment, and energy recovery, rather than released or disposed of in environmental media (air, water, or land).
- Trends in reported releases for the last five years and the core chemicals and industries since 1988 have shown a downward trend that specifically reflects the success of the Clean Air Act and air quality standards.
- Total releases in nine out of the top ten counties with the highest amounts also decreased from 2010 to 2011 reporting years. On-site releases in eight of the top 10 counties decreased from 2010 to 2011.
- Total releases for nine out of the top 10 facilities decreased from 2010 to 2011.
- Air emissions from electrical utilities in 2011 decreased from 2010 and 2009 values.
- With reduction in reported releases, the potential impact on communities that may be disproportionately impacted has also decreased.
The TRI program was established in response to the 1986 chemical release incident in Bhopal, India. The purpose of the program’s study is to provide information to federal and state agencies and make the data available to the public. The EPA compiles the data and publishes the information for public information and analysis.
For more information on the Toxic Release Inventory visit: www.epa.gov\tri. Charts illustrating the report’s findings follow.