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CALIFORNIA EPA: 1991 TOXIC RELEASE DATA AVAILABLE

 CALIFORNIA EPA: 1991 TOXIC RELEASE DATA AVAILABLE
 SACRAMENTO, Calif., Oct. 8 /PRNewswire/ -- California Secretary for


Environmental Protection James M. Strock today announced the availability of the 1991 Toxic Release Inventory (TRI) data, reporting the amount of listed chemicals released into the environment by California manufacturers in 1991. The data indicate a continuing decline in releases to air and wastewater treatment facilities, a constant trend since 1987 when the inventory was initiated; however, the total volume of releases increased significantly over 1990 levels, due primarily to new reporting requirements that included data on offsite recycling, which was not previously included in the TRI.
 "California manufacturers are continuing their successful efforts to reduce chemical releases," said Strock. "Their attention to environmentally beneficial process changes offers not only the reward of reduced public and environmental exposure to toxics, but also a competitive advantage in a global economy where the demand for environmentally clean technology is on the rise."
 While the reporting criteria are based upon the use volume of a listed chemical, the reports describe the volume released into all environmental media (air, water, land). Manufacturers must break down the amount released into air (stack and fugitive), surface water, Publicly Owned Treatment Works (POTW), underground injection, onsite land and offsite land.
 The total volumes released have shown a consistent downward trend for all reporting years prior to 1991. While the reported volumes for air and POTWs are lower than the 1990 numbers, the underground injection and surface water numbers are roughly the same as the 1990 numbers.
 The two areas which show levels elevated above 1990 releases are offsite land and onsite land. The offsite transfer number is more than 10 times the reported number for 1990. However, this is attributable to changes in the 1991 reporting forms. The forms include new data elements which deal with pollution prevention measurements, and include quantitative measures of offsite/onsite energy recover, onsite/offsite recycling, onsite/offsite treatment and on-time releases. The increase reflects offsite recycling volumes which were not required in prior reporting cycles. The onsite land increase is thought to be due to a misunderstanding of the new reporting requirements.
 For each previous reporting year (1987-1990), California has processed more forms from more companies than any other state -- roughly 5,000 - 6,000 chemical forms and around 2,000 reporting companies. Figures for 1991 may be low, because of federal bureaucratic delays in the inventory. The number of California companies filing is about 12 percent under last year's total, although late filings are still expected to arrive within the next few months. The data will be updated continuously as additional reports are received. However, because the program is designed to accommodate the public's right to know, Cal/EPA is releasing the data as soon as they are available.
 Companies are required to submit TRI data forms to the U.S. EPA and the state if they meet three criteria:
 (1) The company is in the manufacturing Standard Industrial Classification code (20-39);
 (2) The company has greater than 10 full-time employees; and
 (3) The company manufactures, processes or otherwise uses above the annual threshold amount of a listed chemical (the threshold volume is 25,000 pounds for manufacture or process and 10,000 pounds for other uses).
 New environmental statutes recently signed by Governor Wilson (SB 1524, Killea) authorize Cal/EPA to collect TRI forms from any business beginning in 1993. Retail businesses and businesses which employ fewer than 10 people or use less than the 10,000-pound annual threshold of a listed chemical would still be excluded. With this broader authority, Cal/EPA will be able to collect relevant standardized data on the most significant hazardous emissions, without affecting small business.
 Cal/EPA maintains the TRI data for public access under the federal Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (Title III of the Superfund Amendments and Reauthorization Act of 1986). California's improved chemical data reporting under SB 1524 will provide environmental agencies and the public with better information on toxic releases in the state and a more informed basis to support integrated environmental strategies, such as pollution prevention.
 For more information about the 1991 TRI data, call Ken Rydbrink at 916-322-2793.
 -0- 10/8/92
 /CONTACT: Chris Peck, 916-324-9670, or Steve Hanna, 916-324-9924, both of the California EPA/ CO: California Environmental Protection Agency ST: California IN: SU:


SG-GT -- SF015 -- 8142 10/08/92 19:01 EDT
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Date:Oct 8, 1992
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