2007-06-23 / News

Toxic releases in Ohio increased from 2004 to 2005

COLUMBUS - According to the 19th anual Toxic Release Inventory (TRI) report recently issued by Ohio EPA, total releases increased from almost 297 million pounds in 2004 to more than 310 million pounds in 2005, a 4.3 percent increase.

Releases of toxic chemicals to water decreased by 1.1 million pounds, while releases to air dropped 872,000 pounds in 2005. Major decreases also were reported for on-site treatment releases (down by 40.7 million pounds) and on-site recycling releases (decreased by 19.2 million pounds).

"While I am encouraged to see some number continue to head downward, the reductions in releases are not significantenough and I'm not satisfied with Ohio's overall ranking," Ohio EPA Director Chris Korleski said. "We are working to develop incentives and pollution prevention strategies to bring future toxic release in Ohio down."

The greatest increase was for land onsite releases, which rose by 12.8 million pounds. Large increases were reported by Envirosafe and Millenium Chemical along with substantial increases in power plant releases. Other significantincreases were reported for deepwell injection (up 1.9 million pounds), wastewater treatment plant discharges (up 1.1 million pounds) and off-site disposal and treatment (up 1.2 million pounds).

Each year manufacturing and other facilities must report to Ohio EPA and US EPA the amount of toxic substances they release to the environment, treat or otherwise manage on-site or transfer offsite for treatment and disposal.

For 2005, Ohio EPA received 5,490 reports from 1,604 facilities.

Changes in toxic releases are attributable to many factors including changes in production, accuracy and types of measurement used and pollution prevention efforts.

The TRI is a compilation of raw data. The report does not indicate the degree to which people may be exposed to these substances, nor is it a health study or risk assessment. Not all material that is released to the environment results in exposure to people and some forms of treatment and disposal render toxic substances less hazardous or contain them to prevent exposure.

The 2005 TRI report, including county-specific data, and past reports are available online at: http://www.epa.state. oh.us/dapc/tri/tri.html. The material also is available at Ohio EPA's central Officeby calling (614) 644-4830 or writing to: Ohio EPA, DAPC/TRI, P. O. Box 1049, Columbus, OH 43216-1049.

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