Thursday, January 17, 2013

Summary of 2011 EPCRA 313 TRI Releases To Great Lakes

Releases of EPCRA Section 313 reportable chemicals into surface waters in the Great Lakes Basin increased by 12 % from 2010 to 2011, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s annual Toxics Release Inventory report. Nationwide, releases due to surface water discharges decreased by 3 %.

Nitrates and pesticides from municipal wastewater treatment plants and agriculture account for most of the releases from surface water discharges to the Great Lakes Basin. Nitrates were also discharged by primary metals facilities, such as iron and steel mills and smelters, and food and beverage manufacturers.

For the summary, the Great Lakes Basin consists of Lakes Superior, Michigan, Huron, Erie and Ontario; a number of other smaller lakes and waterways; and the surrounding watershed. The watershed covers parts of Illinois, Indiana, Minnesota, Michigan, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin, and parts of Ontario in Canada. Despite increases from 2010 to 2011, overall Section 313 releases in the Great Lakes Basin have decreased about 40 % since 2003 and are currently at the second-lowest level in a decade. Surface water, air and land releases in the basin increased by 12, 1 and 4 % respectively, while underground injection decreased 5 % from 2010 to 2011.

Read summary of national EPCRA TRI releases for 2011.

Caltha LLP provides expert consulting services to public and private sector clients nationwide to address water quality standards, wastewater permitting and assessing potential impacts of chemicals in the aquatic environment.

Caltha LLP Aquatic Toxicology / WQ Standards Services Website