Delaware releases 2012 Toxic Release Inventory (TRI) Report
Air releases decrease 54 percent compared to 2011; reporting now includes hydrogen sulfide
DOVER (Dec. 23, 2013) – The annual Toxic Release Inventory (TRI) data for 2012 from Delaware’s industrial facilities was marked by significant decreases in releases to air compared to 2011 and by increases in releases to water and the total amount of waste reported. The increases are primarily attributable to the addition of hydrogen sulfide to the list of reportable TRI chemicals and a full year of operation of the Delaware City Refinery.
In its first year of reporting, hydrogen sulfide accounted for 78 percent of all TRI waste reported, which alone accounted for an increase of 329 million pounds of waste being reported as compared to 2011. Of all TRI waste reported, 98 percent was either treated on- or offsite by various means (recycling, energy recovery, treatment, or being sent to a publicly owned treatment works).
“Delaware continues to make great strides improving air quality and reducing pollution released into our water and soils,” said DNREC Secretary Collin O’Mara. “With the additional of data about hydrogen sulfide, the Toxic Release Inventory will provide even more information to residents and businesses interested in protecting the environment and improving public health.”
A total of four facilities reported waste activities involving hydrogen sulfide, with a total of 75,000 pounds being released onsite, all of it into the air. The majority of hydrogen sulfide reported is managed onsite by either treatment or energy recovery, with the largest reported amount being the 329 million pounds treated onsite by the Delaware City refinery. The addition of this chemical to TRI reporting provides communities with information that was previously unavailable to them, but does not necessarily represent new activities occurring in their area.
Overall onsite releases of all TRI chemicals reported for 2012 increased compared to 2011, concurrent with the Delaware City Refinery being in full operation. The refinery’s releases of nitrate compounds to water increased by 2.5 million pounds compared to 2011;after being idled since 2008 and returning to full operations. Though overall onsite releases increased, releases to air decreased by 54 percent compared to 2011, with the Indian River Generating Station reporting a decrease of 1.3 million pounds in releases of hydrochloric acid to air.
Please refer to the following fact sheet for a summary of the 2012 TRI data. The full TRI 2012 report and data are available at:www.dnrec.delaware.gov/SERC/Information/Pages/PublicInformation.aspx.
What is TRI?
The Toxics Release Inventory, or TRI, is a publicly available data set containing information reported annually since 1987 for toxic chemicals manufactured, processed, or otherwise used by certain facilities in Delaware and throughout the United States. TRI was established in 1986 under Title III, Section 313, of the Federal Superfund Amendments and Reauthorization Act (SARA 313) to provide information to the public about the presence and release of toxic chemicals in their communities. Title III is also known as the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA).
Who must report?
Facilities that are required to the government under TRI must meet the following criteria:
1) The facility must be covered under the North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) or be a federal facility. Primarily these NAICS codes include manufacturing facilities, oil and coal fired electric facilities, and bulk petroleum terminals.
2) The facility must have 10 or more full time employees.
3) The facility must manufacture or process over 25,000 pounds or otherwise use over 10,000 pounds of a TRI chemical. The list of reportable TRI chemicals includes of 593 individual chemicals and 30 chemical categories. Certain chemicals, such as persistent bio-accumulative toxins (PBTs), have lower reporting thresholds.
What is reported?
Facilities submit reports to Delaware’s Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control (DNREC) and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on the waste management activities for the covered TRI chemicals. These activities include:
1) Direct releases onsite to the environment. These releases are to air, water, and land.
2) Waste managed onsite, which includes recycling, treatment, and energy recovery.
3) Waste managed offsite, which includes recycling, treatment, energy recovery, or disposal.
Data from Delaware facilities is compiled by DNREC and the results are summarized in an annual report. A national analysis of the TRI data is provided by EPA’s annual report. It is noteworthy that TRI only requires reporting of releases and waste management activities, but not amounts used. The control of those releases is achieved separately through a variety of DNREC and EPA permits, laws and regulations.
Delaware 2012 Results Summary
For 2012, 60 facilities submitted reports for 88 different chemicals. Approximately 5.2 million pounds were reported as being released onsite, an increase of 1.2 million pounds or 32 percent compared to 2011. Of this amount, approximately 3.7 million pounds were released to water, while 1.1 million pounds were released to air and approximately 300,000 pounds were released to land. Of the TRI chemicals reported, nitrate compounds were reported as the largest release to water at 3.7 million pounds, with 3.4 million pounds (90 percent) released by the Delaware City Refinery and 360,000 (10 percent) released by Perdue Georgetown.
Total onsite releases to water increased by 2.5 million pounds (207 percent) compared to 2011. This increase was due to the Delaware City Refinery being in full operation for a complete year, resulting in the refinery’s releases of nitrate compounds to water increasing by 2.4 million pounds. Total on-site releases to air decreased by 1.3 million pounds (54 percent). The decrease in releases to air was primarily the result of the Indian River Generating Station reducing their releases of hydrochloric acid to air by 1.3 million pounds to 170,000 pounds. Onsite releases to land increased by 28,000 pounds (10 percent). This increase was the result of Mountaire Farms of Delaware releasing 28,000 pounds of ammonia to land, which was previously not reported in 2011.
Waste transferred offsite increased by 1.6 million pounds (12 percent). This increase was primarily the result of the Johnson Controls Distribution Center reporting 1.3 million pounds of lead compounds being sent offsite for recycling.
Total TRI waste for Delaware increased by 347 million pounds or 473 percent compared to 2011, driven by onsite waste management increasing 619 percent or 344 million pounds. This dramatic increase was the result of hydrogen sulfide being added to the list of reportable TRI chemicals in 2012. In the first year of reporting, hydrogen sulfide accounted for 78 percent of all TRI waste, with over 329 million being treated onsite by the Delaware City refinery. Please note the addition of hydrogen sulfide to the list of reportable chemicals represents new data that is available to the public, not necessarily new activity.