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My Watershed

How are Toxics Release Inventory (TRI) Data Used?

TRI is used to better understand the potential risks from chemical releases, improve safety, and protect the environment. TRI plus other Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA) reports help us identify the presence of toxic chemicals and how to reduce their risk.

Who uses TRI data?

  • Residents living near TRI facilities.
  • Community groups.
  • Federal, state, and local governments.
  • Academic researchers.
  • Environmental organizations.
  • Health and social welfare groups.
  • Facility managers.
  • News media.

Environmental Justice

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) defines environmental justice as the fair treatment and meaningful involvement of all people, regardless of race, color, national origin, or income in the development, implementation, and enforcement of environmental laws, regulations, and policies. National and regional environmental justice studies (including a Washington State study) have used TRI data to demonstrate a pattern of low-income communities and people of color living disproportionately near industrial facilities.

For information about Ecology’s work regarding environmental justice and its relationship to the Toxics Release Inventory, contact Millie Piazza at 360-407-6177.

Environmental Measures

The data serve as an indicator of environmental progress over time. Federal, state, and local governments have used TRI to set priorities, measure progress, and target areas of special and immediate concern. For example, TRI data are used to measure pollution trends from specific industries. It shows trends of whether industrial pollution is going up or down and helps identify whether reduction targets are being met.

TRI is one indicator used in the Washington State Solid and Hazardous Waste Plan to track progress toward reducing wastes and toxics.