United States Environmental Protection Agency
Executive summary is loading
Loading...

Welcome!

This executive summary presents an overview of EPA’s most recent Toxics Release Inventory (TRI) data, based on the detailed information found in EPA's TRI National Analysis website (link opens in a new tab or browser window). Congress established TRI to ensure that every community is empowered with access to information on what chemicals are being handled and released at nearby facilities. TRI includes annual data submitted by industry on chemical wastes managed, including those that are released to the environment. Explore the 2019 data for where you live by clicking on the map.


The TRI National Analysis is EPA’s presentation of the most recent data

The National Analysis is part of EPA's commitment to transparency and enhances public understanding of the TRI data by:

  • Summarizing reported data on releases and other waste management practices of chemicals, and providing trend analyses of these data; and
  • Providing interactive tools that support access to and exploration of TRI data.
  • Visit the full TRI National Analysis (link opens in a new tab or browser window) to learn more.
TRI National Analysis website

21,393 facilities reported to TRI for 2019

Facilities in industry sectors such as manufacturing, electric power generation, and mining have until July 1 of each year to submit data from the previous calendar year. These data then undergo quality reviews by EPA and the reporting facilities. Use this map to see the TRI information submitted by individual facilities.

Since 2007, releases to the environment have decreased by 19%, driven by declining air releases.

  • For 2019, TRI facilities reported 3.4 billion pounds of releases to air, water, and land.
    • Land disposal, largely from metal mining, accounted for 64% of releases.
  • From 2018 to 2019, releases of TRI chemicals decreased by 9% (329 million pounds).
    • Please note that the most recent TRI dataset reflects TRI chemical waste management activities, including releases, that occurred during calendar year 2019 and therefore does not indicate any potential impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic that began in the U.S. in early 2020.

Air emissions reported to TRI continue to decline, serving as a primary driver of decreased total releases.

  • Air releases decreased by 57% (756 million pounds) from 2007 to 2019.
  • Almost all sectors reduced their air emissions since 2007, with the largest reduction coming from the electric utilities sector.
    • The decrease was driven by electric utilities due to: decreased emissions of hydrochloric acid and sulfuric acid; a shift from coal to other fuel sources (e.g., natural gas); and the installation of control technologies at coal-fired power plants.
    • Hydrochloric acid, sulfuric acid, hydrogen fluoride, methanol, toluene, and xylene were the chemicals with the greatest reductions in air releases since 2007.
    • Learn more about air emissions reported to TRI (link opens in a new tab or browser window).

TRI facilities implemented 3,285 new source reduction activities in 2019 to reduce pollution at its source.

  • Source reduction success stories presented in the National Analysis highlight effective practices that other facilities can replicate. EPA's TRI Pollution Prevention (P2) Search Tool (link opens in a new tab or browser window) promotes these opportunities for knowledge transfer by allowing users to search for source reduction activities that might be relevant to their operations.
  • The figure summarizes the most frequently reported source reduction activities for the chemicals and industry sectors with the highest source reduction reporting rates over the last 5 years. For these chemicals and industries, good operating practices is the most commonly reported source reduction category.
  • Learn more about source reduction activities reported to TRI (link opens in a new tab or browser window).

89% of the TRI chemical waste that facilities managed was not released due to preferred waste management practices such as recycling.

  • In addition to quantities released, facilities report the quantities of TRI-listed chemicals that they manage through preferred methods including recycling, combusting for energy recovery, and treatment.
  • Since 2007, production related waste managed increased by 5.4 billion pounds (23%), driven by increased recycling.
    • From 2007 to 2019, recycling increased 78% (7.1 billion pounds).

Each year, the TRI National Analysis examines key industry sectors

Choose from the industry sectors to the right to learn more about their TRI releases.

  • Since 2007, releases by manufacturing facilities decreased by 21%. This is primarily due to a reduction in air emissions and off-site disposal or other releases.
  • Since 2010, releases have remained steady even as production has increased following the economic recession.
  • Manufacturing facilities reported initiating more than 3,000 new source reduction activities to reduce TRI chemical use and waste generation in 2019.
  • Since 2007, releases by the chemical manufacturing sector increased by 2%.
  • For 2019, the chemical manufacturing sector reported larger air release quantities than any other sector, accounting for 28% of all reported quantities of TRI chemicals emitted to air.
  • Although chemical manufacturing has consistently been the sector with the most production-related waste managed, 8% of facilities in this sector reported initiating source reduction activities in 2019.
  • The fabricated metals sector manufactures metal products through processes such as forging, stamping, machining, welding, and assembling.
  • In 2019, 14% of all facilities reporting to TRI were in the fabricated metals sector, but facilities in this sector released less than 2% of all releases reported to TRI.
  • From 2007 to 2019, total releases by the fabricated metals manufacturing sector decreased by 8.3 million pounds (14%).
    • The decrease was driven by releases to air, which decreased by 12 million pounds from 2007 to 2019.
  • In metal mining, the extraction and processing of minerals generates large amounts of waste, including waste rock, which is disposed of on-site at the mine. The chemicals reported as released by metal mines are often metals and metal compounds found in the mined material - primarily lead compounds, zinc compounds, and arsenic compounds.
  • From 2007 to 2019, more than 99% of the metal mining sector’s releases were in the form of on-site land disposal. The quantity of on-site land disposal by metal mines has fluctuated in recent years.
  • In 2019, the metal mining sector reported the largest quantity of total disposal or other releases, accounting for 44% of total TRI releases and 63% of on-site land disposal for all industries.
  • Releases from the electric utilities sector decreased by 72% since 2007. This decrease was driven by an 89% (567 million pound) decrease in on-site air releases. On-site land disposal and off-site disposal also decreased, but to a lesser extent.
  • From 2018 to 2019, releases by electric utilities decreased by 16%, driven by reductions in on-site land disposal to surface impoundments and on-site air releases.

Explore the full report