Toxic releases down nearly 12 million pounds over two-year period

Analysis shows Kentucky continues to release fewer chemicals into air, crediting Clean Air Act and statewide industries

Analysis from the Kentucky Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) shows a continued downward trend in toxic pollutants entering Kentucky’s air.

The Kentucky DEP conducted an analysis of  reporting data submitted by industries to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for calendar year 2013, which can be downloaded  here:  http://dep.ky.gov/Pages/TRI.aspx

A study of the required reporting data by Kentucky industries shows Kentucky saw a continued reduction in toxic environmental releases in 2013.

According to the report:

  •  On-site releases in Kentucky for 2013 were 63,811,627 pounds, off-site releases were 8,282,154 pounds, and total on-site and off-site releases and disposal were reported as 72,093,781 pounds in 2013.
  • On-site releases decreased 3,522,948 pounds (5.2%) from 2012 reports, off-site releases decreased 2,369,589 pounds (22.2%), and total reductions of 5,892,538 pounds were reported compared to the 2012 reporting year, which is a 7.6 percent decrease for total releases.
  • Total releases or disposal in Kentucky decreased 11,509,905 pounds over the last two reporting cycles (2012 and 2013).
  • More than 91 percent of the amount reported for TRI chemicals was to recycling, treatment, and energy recovery, rather than released or disposed of in environmental media (air, water, or land).

TRI Trends Graph 3

  • 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 seven out of the top ten Kentucky counties with the highest amounts in 2012 decreased in the 2013 reporting year. On-site releases in seven of the top ten Kentucky counties decreased from 2012 to 2013.
  • Total releases for seven out of the top ten facilities in Kentucky decreased from 2012 to 2013.
  • Air emissions from Kentucky electrical utilities in 2013 decreased from 2012 and 2011 values.
  • With reduction in reported releases, the potential impact on communities that may be disproportionately impacted has also decreased.

TRI Trends Graph 1

Within Kentucky, there were a total of 427 facilities and 168 chemicals reported for the 2013 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 Toxic Release Inventory is part of the 1986 Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act that provides information about chemicals release, disposed, recycled, treated and managed over the course of the year.

Facilities that meet the reporting guidelines of the federal Toxic Release Inventory program have a July 1, 2015 deadline to report chemicals managed during the 2014 calendar year.

The Toxic Release Inventory is part of the 1986 Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act that provides information about chemicals release, disposed, recycled, treated and managed over the course of the year.

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 the 2013 DEP analysis, visit

http://dep.ky.gov/Documents/2013KyTRIAnalysis.pdf

For additional information on the Kentucky DEP Toxic Release Inventory Analysis for the 2013 Reporting Year, contact Larry Taylor at LarryC.Taylor@ky.gov or by phone at (502) 564-2150.

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