Toxic chemicals that may pose a threat to human health and the environmental may be released in various amounts by facilities in many different industry sections. These facilities must report annually how much of certain chemicals is released to the environment and/or managed through recycling, energy recovery and treatment. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Toxics Release Inventory (TRI) Program tracks the management of certain toxic chemicals from typically larger facilities involved in manufacturing, metal mining, electric power generation, chemical manufacturing, and hazardous waste treatment. TRI tracks chemical releases made to air, water, land, and underground injection wells.
EPA Toxic Release Inventory data are being corrected and updated (2018) for availability on the Health Data Portal
Tracking Toxic Releases in Louisiana
The LDH Section of Environmental Epidemiology and Toxicology Toxic Substances Incidents Program collects detailed information about each toxic substance incident, including substances released, victims, injuries including adverse health effects and symptoms, and evacuations. Various data sources were used to obtain information about these events. These sources included the Louisiana Department of Public Safety and Corrections, Louisiana State Police, the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality (LDEQ), the U.S. Coast Guard National Response Center, and the U.S. Department of Transportation Hazardous Materials Information System (HMIS).
The Health Data Portal contains information on the following measures:
Fixed Facilities and Transport
Acute Toxic Substances
Number of acute releases from both sources
Number of acute releases from fixed facilities
Number of acute releases from transport
Acute toxic releases are an uncontrolled or illegal acute release of any toxic substance in any amount for substances listed on the National Toxic Substances Incidents Program (NTSIP) Mandatory Chemical Reporting List, or, if not on the list, in an amount greater than or equal to 10 pounds or 1 gallon. Releases are from both fixed facilities and transportation events. Events are defined as transportation related if they occur during surface, air, pipeline, or water transport of hazardous substances or if they occur before being totally unloaded from a vehicle or vessel. All other events are considered fixed-facility events.
Toxic Release Inventory (TRI) data comes from industries required to report to the EPA's TRI Program. TRI facilities are those with ten or more full-time employees that process more than 25,000 pounds in aggregate, or use greater than 10,000 pounds of any one TRI chemical. The Toxics Release Inventory (TRI) is a publicly available database containing information on toxic chemical releases and other waste management activities in the United States. The database is available from the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and contains information reported annually by some industry groups as well as federal facilities. Each year, companies across a wide range of industries including chemical, mining, paper, oil and gas industries that produce more than 25,000 pounds or handle more than 10,000 pounds of a listed toxic chemical must report it to the TRI. If the company treats, recycles, disposes, or releases more than 500 pounds of a toxic chemical into the environment, then they must provide a detailed inventory of each chemical.
For a more detailed description of these measures, please see the Glossary of Terms.