VIDEO: U.S. EPA Records 16% Increase in Toxic Chemical Releases on Guam in 2011

176

Guam- Toxic chemicals that were managed, treated and released into Guam’s environment from local facilities have increased in 2011 when compared to the previous year.

The results were issued out from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s latest Toxics Release Inventory (TRI) data. According to that report, total toxic releases on Guam increased by 16% or 37,764 pounds.

This is mainly due to the Naval Base Apra Harbor side increasing its releases in the water by 74%. The report notes all the releases are made up of a nitrate compound.

Although they don’t contribute directly to TRI data, Guam EPA Spokesperson Tammy Jo Anderson Taft says it’s good for the community to know what toxic chemicals are being reported for their safety and to help emergency responders.

“In addition to the community knowing, this TRI report really helps Guam’s emergency responders and first responders to understand that if they’re responding to a fire at a particular place that has chemicals, what do they need to know when they’re responding to that situation” said Taft. “So that’s really important for our community in terms of managing emergency situations.”

U.S. EPA notes the TRI data is not sufficient to determine exposure or potential risks to human health and the environment. However, the agency does have a new tracking tool to highlight facilities that have new pollution prevention practices to reduce the release of TRI chemicals into the environment.  

READ the release from U.S. EPA below:

Honolulu – Toxic chemicals managed, treated or released into the environment from facilities operating in Guam increased in 2011 when compared to 2010, according to the latest Toxics Release Inventory (TRI) data available from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

“Community Right-to-Know data helps all of us remain aware of the types and amounts of chemicals being used in our neighborhoods,” said Jared Blumenfeld, EPA’s Regional Administrator for the Pacific Southwest. “It is great to see pollution prevention activities at reporting facilities, and we encourage them to reduce their chemical releases via this method.”

In 2011, Guam total releases increased by 16% (37,764 lbs), mostly due to Naval Base Guam Apra Harbor WWTP (68% of total releases) increasing its releases to water by 74%. All of its releases are nitrate compound.

READ the release on the EPA’s website HERE

Release data alone are not sufficient to determine exposure or to calculate potential risks to human health and the environment. TRI data, in conjunction with other information, such as the toxicity of the chemical, the release medium (e.g., air), and site-specific conditions, may be used in evaluating exposures that may result from releases of toxic chemicals.

EPA has a new tracking tool that features facilities that reported they have new pollution prevention (P2) practices that have often reduced their releases of TRI chemicals. The tool can be found at: www.epa.gov/tri/p2. The tool can be used to track and compare TRI facility P2 performance, identify facilities that reported reductions in toxic chemical releases due to P2 efforts, identify the P2 measures that were effective for a given industry or chemical, compare waste management practices of facilities within a sector, and view trends in waste management practices for facilities over several years.

In 2012, the EPA reached out to hundreds of communities nationwide through workshops, video-conferences, and webinars to help communities to better use TRI data to protect their environments. Grassroots partners in environmental justice communities, such as the Center for Community Action and Environmental Justice in Jurupa Valley, California, helped EPA improve its outreach approaches to better serve diverse neighborhoods. Many of the online resources are listed in the “TRI Toolbox” below:

TRI Toolbox:
-TRI Explorer is a tool that you can use to see the Toxics Release Inventory (TRI) data. It allows a user to look at data by state, county, or zip code; by chemical; or by industry. It provides maps a user can click on to find TRI facilities, chemicals and industries in a particular area. http://www.epa.gov/triexplorer

-For more on the TRI program including additional city, county and facility information, please visit the EPA’s Web sites: http://www.epa.gov/tri, and http://www.epa.gov/enviro.