A study of annual reporting data by Kentucky industries indicates Kentucky saw a continued reduction in toxic environmental releases in 2012, according to the Kentucky Department for Environmental Protection (DEP).
Within Kentucky, there were a total of 431 facilities and 154 chemicals reported for the 2012 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 2012 and compiled its report which can be downloaded at Kentucky DEP Toxic Release Inventory Analysis 2012 Reporting Year.
According to the report:
- On-site releases in Kentucky for 2012 were 67,334,575 pounds, off-site releases were 10,651,743 pounds, and total on-site and off-site releases and disposal were reported as 77,986,319 pounds in 2012.
- On-site releases decreased 5,702,580 pounds (7.8%) from 2011 reports, off-site releases increased 85,213 pounds (0.8%), and total reductions of 5,617,367 pounds were reported compared to the 2011 reporting year, which is a 6.7 percent decrease for total releases.
- Over 89 percent of the amount reported for TRI chemicals was to recycling, treatment, 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 six out of the top ten Kentucky counties with the highest amounts in 2011 decreased in the 2012 reporting year. On-site releases in seven of the top ten Kentucky counties decreased from 2011 to 2012.
- Total releases for seven out of the top ten facilities in Kentucky decreased from 2011 to 2012.
- Air emissions from Kentucky electrical utilities in 2012 decreased from 2011 and 2010 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 http://dep.ky.gov/Pages/TRI.aspx.
For additional information on the Kentucky DEP Toxic Release Inventory Analysis for the 2012 Reporting Year, contact Larry Taylor at LarryC.Taylor@ky.gov or by phone at (502) 564-2150.