Chesterton Tribune

Toxic releases up in 2010 IDEM says

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The Indiana Department of Environmental Management’s (IDEM) most recent report of the state’s Toxics Release Inventory (TRI) shows an overall increase of 18 percent in total on-site releases to air, land and water in Indiana in 2010.

National figures were reported on Friday by the U. S. Environmental Protection Agency on Friday.

Data collected from 870 Indiana businesses indicate the amount of toxic releases in water increased by about 12.4 million pounds in 2010 compared to 2009. Air releases increased by 1.9 million pounds, while land releases saw a rise of 1.85 million pounds.

Other data indicated an increase of 16 percent in the release of carcinogens and a 21 percent in the releases of persistent bioaccumlative toxics (PBTs) – chemicals that build up in the environment over time.

On-site releases of mercury and mercury compounds decreased by six percent which is consistent with a five-year trend of reduced on-site mercury releases.

Nearly 56 percent of Indiana’s total reported on-site releases from the 2010 analysis were related to manufacturing, an overall increase of about 7 percent from 2009’s figures. Electric utilities made up approximately 43 percent of the total onsite releases in 2010.

“Many Indiana business and industries actively work to find innovative ways to prevent pollution, improve efficiency, set and meet measurable goals, and successfully reduce toxics and associated wastes. Although RY 2010 data show an overall increase in TRI releases for the year, TRI data in recent years indicate that overall releases continue to trend downward, despite economic fluctuations,” said IDEM Commissioner Thomas Easterly in a press release Friday.

“Using best management practices protects the environment, helps facilities sustain their operations and contributes to a strong economy. My staff and I intend to continue sharing information and encouraging Indiana business and industry to actively participate in pollution prevention efforts through beneficial programs including IDEM’s Environmental Stewardship Program, the CLEAN Community Challenge, and the Indiana Partners for Pollution Prevention,” said Easterly.

IDEM programs include issuing environmental permits to ensure facilities are complying with the most up-to-date regulations and collecting air samples, water samples and fish-tissue samples to monitor changes in environmental quality.

Where air quality is poor or Indiana streams do not meet national standards, IDEM works with businesses and communities to find the source of the problem and implement long-term solutions.

TRI data are collected annually from industries that manufacture or process more than 25,000 pounds of a TRI listed chemical or otherwise use more than 10,000 pounds of a TRI listed chemical during the year.

TRI Data are used in various ways by environmental agencies, industry and the public. Local governments use TRI data for emergency planning activities, to ensure first responders are prepared in the event of a chemical release.

IDEM provides summary information about Indiana1s TRI data on its website at



Posted 1/9/2012