12/08/09) HONOLULU – Eight facilities in Guam reported an eight percent increase in toxic chemicals released into the air, land and water in 2008 when compared to 2007, according to new data released today by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Overall at 53, Guam ranks among one of the lowest of 56 states and territories in total releases.
While the island’s water and land releases have increased since 2007, underground injection, off-site transfers, and air releases have decreased. The largest increase was of on-site land releases of 1,048 pounds, largely due to increased releases reported by Andersen Air Force Base in Yigo.
“We encourage people to use data from the Toxics Release Inventory in order to gain a better understanding of what is being released into their neighborhoods,” said Laura Yoshii, acting EPA administrator for the Pacific Southwest region. “Industry and communities informed with accurate information can use the inventory as a starting point to find opportunities to reduce the amount of pollutants released into the air we breathe, the water we drink and the land we enjoy.”
Guam Power Authority
Hawaiian Rock Products Guam
Mobil Oil Guam Inc. (Cabras Island Terminal)
South Pacific Petroleum Corp.
Tanguisson Power Plant
US Air Force Andersen Air Force Base
US Navy COMNAVMARIANAS Guam Main Base – Apra Harbor WWTP
The data comes from the EPA’s Toxics Release Inventory, commonly referred to as TRI. It’s one of EPA’s largest publicly available databases, arming communities with valuable information on more than 650 toxic chemicals released by various industries. The chemical information in the inventory is calculated by industrial facilities and reported to the EPA, as required by law.
Total releases include toxic chemicals discharged by facilities to air, water, land, and underground, and the amount transferred off-site for disposal. Regulatory controls apply to many of the reported releases. Reporting facilities must comply with environmental standards set by local, state and federal agencies.
Annual Toxics Release Inventory reporting began in 1987 after the enactment of the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (1996). The inventory provides information to the public on annual toxic chemical releases reported by certain industrial and federal facilities. The TRI does not include data on toxic emissions from cars and trucks, nor from the majority of non-industrial sources, such as agriculture. In 2000, TRI expanded to include persistent bioaccumulative and toxic chemicals, or PBTs, at ranges from 0.1 grams to 100 pounds. PBT pollutants are toxic chemicals that remain in the environment and food chain, posing risks to human health and ecosystems.
National TRI Findings:
* There was a 6% decrease in total reported releases into the environment nationwide from 2007 to 2008
* The number of facilities reporting chemical releases decreased 5% nationally
* Total PBT chemical releases decreased by 2% nation-wide
For more on the TRI program including additional city, county and facility information, please visit the EPA’s Web sites: http://www.epa.gov/tri, http://www.epa.gov/triexplorer and http://www.epa.gov/enviro.
State fact sheets are available at: http://www.epa.gov/region09/toxic/tri/ and http://www.epa.gov/triexplorer/statefactsheet.htm.
For more information on the PBT Chemicals Program, please visit the EPA’s Web site at http://www.epa.gov/opptintr/pbt