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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
6/4/03

Contact: Fred Mumford
(609) 984-1795

Toxic and Hazardous Substance Data Released
Enforcement and Permit Review Underway

(03/81) TRENTON – To increase public awareness, Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) Commissioner Bradley M. Campbell today released new data quantifying releases of toxic substances to New Jersey's air, land, and water by the state's largest industrial facilities. DEP is using the data to better identify possible environmental violations and community impacts.

DEP collected data from 500 New Jersey facilities that submitted reports for 229 substances used during 2001. Facilities required to report under the state's Community Right to Know and Pollution Prevention programs include manufacturing companies, power plants, hazardous waste treatment and disposal facilities, and chemical and petroleum plants.

"The data that New Jersey facilities reported will help our scientists and investigators identify where enforcement actions and permit reviews can bring greater health protections for New Jersey's residents and their environment," said Commissioner Campbell.

In the past year, DEP updated all toxic substance release data for reporting years 1998 through 2001, which includes additional information about materials used in products and recycled by industry not reported by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. All data is now available for the reporting years 1994 through 2001.

"Although raw data do not directly translate into risks to public health or the environment, the information does provide a starting point," said Commissioner Campbell. "Determining potential health and ecological risks requires further scrutiny and evaluation of many factors, including location of a release, toxicity of a substance, where a chemical goes after release and proximity to residents."

The 2001 data includes 2,306 reports on substances covered by New Jersey's Right to Know law that were manufactured, brought into facilities, consumed in processes, shipped off site in products, released directly into the environment, managed as waste on site, or shipped off site for further management (recycling, energy recovery, or treatment or disposal). DEP also is reviewing hazardous substance use and waste management to accelerate pollution prevention measures that improve operational processes and efficiencies at these industrial facilities.

Total releases into the environment decreased statewide from 23.1 million pounds in 2000 to 18.1 million pounds in 2001. Of the total for 2001, approximately 78.1 percent were releases to air, 20.2 percent to water and 1.7 percent to on-site land.

The total amount of materials used by industries reporting decreased from 29.8 billion pounds in 2000 to 26.8 billion pounds in 2001. For reporting year 2001, the amount shipped in products is 87.8 percent of total usage, consumption is 11.2 percent and non-product output is one percent. Non-product output is defined as all hazardous substances that are generated during processing, but not released to the environment or shipped out as a product.

Releases for industries that have been reporting since the Right to Know program began in 1987 decreased by 2.9 million pounds from 2000 to 2001, while hazardous substance use by these original industries decreased by 3.4 billion pounds. Releases for industries that began reporting for 1999 when additional companies were added to the Right to Know program decreased by 2.2 million pounds from 2000 to 2001, and during the same time hazardous substance use by these industries increased by 142 million pounds.

The DEP's materials accounting program was initially established under the New Jersey Worker and Community Right To Know Act (CRTK) signed into law in 1983. The first data collection coincided with industry reporting under the federal Toxic Chemical Release Inventory in 1988 for reporting year 1987. At that time materials accounting was limited to the 155 substances on the CRTK Environmental Hazardous Substance List. The passage of the New Jersey Pollution Prevention Act in 1991 and enhancements to the Toxic Release Inventory have resulted in reporting changes that included expansion of the list to more than 600 substances in 1995, and adding industries in 1998 and persistent bioaccumulative toxics in 2000.

The 2001 summary report, background information and individual county and facility summary reports can be accessed using the link below. Please follow these steps:

At the Online Reports web page, click the blue log-in button in the right column.
At the prompt for User Name enter: dep, do not enter a password. Click OK.
When the report page displays, click the link "Release and Pollution Prevention Report (RPPR)" to access the reports.

Access the Online Reports

 

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