EPA’s Toxic Release Inventory (TRI) program provides citizens the ability to see what pollutants are being emitted from facilities throughout the country. Resources like the TRI program help us at ICL do our job of protecting the quality of Idaho’s air, land and water and ensuring that communities remain healthy and vibrant. We can directly compare emissions reported to TRI with permitted limits for facilities to ensure they are in compliance with federal standards such as the Clean Air and Clean Water acts.
The TRI program came about thanks to the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA), which was created in 1986 to help communities plan for emergencies involving hazardous substances. Certain facilities are required to submit emission reports to the EPA detailing their toxic releases to our air, water and land. This includes facilities that employ more than 10 people, are classified as a regulated TRI industry, and emit at least one of the 650 listed TRI pollutants.
The TRI program offers a number of useful functions, which I encourage you to check out. Perhaps the most useful function of the program is the TRI Explorer tool. The TRI Explorer allows you to view pollution data by searching for either specific chemicals or specific facilities. You can also view historic trends in the data to see how concentrations of pollutants have changed over time.
The EPA just released their 2014 Toxic Release Inventory National Analysis, so when you access the TRI website you will be able to view the most recent data available. As always, feel free to contact me or other ICL staff if you find yourself with more questions than answers after diving into the TRI website.
It’s your right to know what’s being released into our environment, and we want to do anything we can to help you access and understand this information.