EPA Names Biggest Pollution Offenders

Washington, D.C. -- The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has issued its annual Toxics Release Inventory (TRI) report on the amount of toxic chemicals released into the environment.

Total chemical releases nationwide decreased by about 700 million pounds during 2000 -- from 7.8 billion pounds in 1999 to 7.1 billion pounds in 2000 -- the latest year for which data is available.

This year's report contains new data on persistent bioaccumulative toxic (PBT) chemicals such as dioxins and mercury. Approximately 27 percent of chemicals were released into the air, 4 percent into water and 69 percent into land.

The metal mining industry released the most chemicals -- approximately 3.4 billion pounds, or about 47 percent (a 14 percent decrease from 1999 levels). The manufacturing industry accounted for 32 percent of all releases, or about 2.3 billion pounds, a 2.6 percent decrease from 1999 levels. Approximately 16 percent of the releases were from electric utilities -- about 1.15 billion pounds, a 3 percent decrease from 1999 levels.

For more information, visit www.epa.gov.tri.