delware environmental institute

Annual state TRI data and reports show decreases in emissions; companies' anti-pollution efforts, economic conditions are factors

NEWS FROM THE DELAWARE DEPARTMENT OF NATURAL RESOURCES AND ENVIRONMENTAL CONTROL
 
For more information, contact: John Parker, DNREC Emergency Prevention and Response Branch, 302-739-9405, or
Michael Globetti, DNREC Public Affairs, 302-739-9902.

NOTE: Please see TRI Fact Sheet that follows this press release.

Vol. 40, No. 387

Annual state TRI data and reports show decreases in emissions; companies' anti-pollution efforts, economic conditions are factors
Trend continues downward in Delaware since data first reported in 1998

DOVER (Nov. 18, 2010) – The annual Toxics Release Inventory (TRI) data and reports for 2009 from Delaware’s industrial facilities as compiled by the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control show a significant decrease in reported emissions over 2008 and continued trend in reduction since 1998 – a baseline year when TRI reporting requirements expanded significantly and more facilities began reporting to the program.

In this the 23d year of TRI data collection from facilities for distribution to the public, the 2009 data also reflects an impact that economic conditions have played in the decrease in emissions from lower power production as well as the closing of three reporting facilities.

Statewide, TRI total on-site releases reported in Delaware for 2009 were lower by 44 percent compared to 2008. For 2009, reported on-site releases totaled 5.31 million pounds, down from the 9.52 million pounds reported for 2008, and down 55 percent from the 11.86 million pounds reported for 1998. Economic factors may have contributed to over half of the reduction in on-site releases for 2009.

A declining economy played an important part in the reduced amount of releases and waste management in Delaware, according to Production Index data reported by the facilities. Production at many of the reporting facilities was down for 2009, with about 53 percent of the reduction in on-site releases attributable to lower production at the facilities, while about 47 percent of the reduction resulted from pollution control efforts.

TRI data indicates the decrease is in large part attributable to reports of less acid gas releases by the Indian River (NRG Energy, Inc.), Edgemoor/Hay Road (DuPont), and INVISTA facilities, and reduced nitrate compound discharges into the Delaware River from the former Valero refinery and into the Nanticoke River from INVISTA Seaford. To a smaller degree, facility closures at Chrysler, General Motors, and Dow Reichhold also brought the reductions.

Reported on-site waste management and transfers of waste to off-site locations decreased by 21 percent and 28 percent, respectively. Also, on-site releases of known, probable or possible carcinogens decreased by 43 percent in 2009, due to smaller amounts of waste disposed on-site to land and released to air.

DNREC Secretary Collin O’Mara hailed the reduced toxic releases as progress toward making Delaware cleaner and safer environmentally. “Our department is committed to working with the business and government sectors, and the public, to improve air quality and water quality by developing cost-effective methods of reducing all toxic emissions across all industries,” he said. “State facilities taking voluntary action to reduce their release amounts deserve recognition for their contributions to the goal of reducing all toxic emissions in Delaware.”

Sec. O’Mara also noted that additional reductions will be realized when full compliance with DNREC’s multi-pollutant regulation is achieved. In 2009, for example, the Indian River Power Plant obtained permits from DNREC to begin a major upgrade to its Unit 4 coal-powered generator to reduce emissions. Construction is expected to be complete by end of 2011. Reductions of more than 75 percent are expected for nitrogen oxides (NOx), nearly 85 percent for sulfur dioxide (SO2) and almost 90 percent for mercury in compliance with DNREC’s multi-pollutant air regulation (Reg. 1146), a two-phase regulation designed to significantly reduce emissions from Delaware power plants.

Although these are not all TRI-reportable chemicals, reductions achieved through compliance also include hydrochloric acid, hydrofluoric acid, and sulfuric acid. Additional interim reductions were ensured with the shutdown of NRG’s Millsboro plant’s Unit 2 in 2010 and scheduled closing of Unit 1 in 2011, followed by Unit 3’s closure in 2013. Full reductions as called for by the multi-pollutant regulation will occur under phase two of the upgrade in 2012.

Similarly, Conectiv Edgemoor, now owed by Calpine Corp., undertook measures in response to the multi-pollutant regulation designed to reduce NOx, SO2 and mercury emissions in 2009. These measures also produced significant reductions at the facility in other TRI reportable emissions such as hydrochloric acid, hydrofluoric acid and sulfuric acid for calendar 2009 and beyond. A statewide reduction of 65 percent in on-site mercury release was also reported under phase one for 2009.

Releases to air for 2009 were down by 46 percent, the result of decreased power production and a change to lower sulfur coal at the Indian River Power Plant; decreased power production and a change in types of fuel used at the Edgemoor/Hay Road Power Plant; and a decrease in sulfuric acid released from the former Valero refinery.

Valero announced on Nov. 20, 2009, that it was closing the Delaware City facility immediately; however, since the facility was in operation throughout much of 2009, TRI data for it appears in the newly-released TRI report. The refinery was subsequently purchased by PBF Energy Co. LLC and plans a restart in 2011, when it is expected to return to the ranks of Delaware’s reporting facilities for toxics releases.

Releases to land also decreased, largely because of a reduction of TRI metals in the ash sent by NRG Energy Inc. for on-site disposal to its Indian River Power Plant. The facility has been issued a permit to construct a state-of-the art landfill, which includes protective elements such as a cap to prevent escape of air-borne dust, and an impervious liner to prevent leakage of liquids. Statewide, TRI metals released to land for disposal decreased by 344,000 pounds, or 40 percent, for 2009.

Reported on-site releases of all carcinogens (known, probable, and possible) decreased by 133,000 pounds (43 percent) for 2009. Reduction of on-site disposal amounts of chromium, lead, and nickel compounds in ash at the Indian River Power Plant played a large role in this reduction. Since 1998, on-site releases in Delaware for all carcinogens are down by 681,000 pounds, or 80 percent.

Analysis of Delaware’s 2009 toxic waste data indicates that TRI-reported total toxic waste amounts, including on-site releases, transfers off-site, and waste managed on-site, decreased 24 percent – or 24.2 million pounds – compared to 2008.

The TRI reports and data for calendar year 2009 are now available through the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control at: www.serc.delaware.gov/reports. The attached fact sheet provides additional details about the 2008 TRI reports.

 

Delaware Toxics Release Inventory
2009 Data and Reports
FACT SHEET
What is TRI?
The Toxics Release Inventory, or “TRI,” is a data set containing information reported annually since 1987 for toxic chemicals manufactured, processed, or otherwise used by certain facilities in Delaware and throughout the United States. The TRI was established in 1986 under Title III, Section 313, of the Federal Superfund Amendments and Reauthorization Act (SARA 313) to provide information to the public about the presence and release of toxic chemicals in their communities. Title III is also known as the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA).

Toxic release reporting was required in the reporting year 2009 for:
• 581 individual chemicals, ranging from highly toxic and persistent compounds like mercury to relatively less toxic (per amount) and less persistent chemicals like methanol.
• 30 chemical categories, within which there are a number of chemicals, such as the 17 different chemicals in the “dioxins, furans and PCB” category).

The list of facilities that must report to the government under TRI is determined by whether they fall under one of the covered North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) codes. Primarily, these NAICS codes include:
• Manufacturing facilities
• Oil and coal fired electric utilities, and
• Bulk petroleum terminals.

Facilities submit information to Delaware’s Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control (DNREC) and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on the amount of each toxic chemical that is:
(1) Released to the environment and/or
(2) Managed onsite as waste, or
(3) Managed offsite as waste.

Data from Delaware facilities is compiled by DNREC. Reports summarizing the data are prepared and published annually by DNREC and the EPA.  It is noteworthy that TRI only requires reporting of releases and waste management activities, but not amounts used. The control of those releases is achieved separately through a variety of DNREC and EPA permits, laws and regulations.

Delaware Results:  On-Site Releases to the Environment
For the 2009 calendar year, 62 facilities reported releases of 90 different TRI chemicals in Delaware. Reported on-site releases to the environment were approximately 5.3 million pounds.  Of this amount, approximately 3.2 million pounds were reported as released to the air, while 1.6 million pounds were released to water and 537,500 pounds were released to land. For the TRI chemicals released to the air, 69 percent were from hydrochloric acid releases, largely from coal-fired power plants (e.g., Connectiv in Edgemoor and NRG Indian River in Millsboro). Total on-site releases reported for 2009 were lower by 44 percent when compared to 2008.

The total reported releases on-site to air decreased by 2,657,000 pounds (45 percent), reported releases to water decreased by 1,206,000 pounds (43 percent), and releases to land decreased by 348,500 pounds (39 percent) for 2009. NRG’s Indian River Power Plant reported a reduction of 989,000 pounds of hydrochloric acid released to air, and the Edge Moor/Hay Road Power Plant reported a reduction of 766,000 pounds, and INVISTA Seaford reported a 221,000 pound decrease.  Premcor also reported a 53,000-pound decrease in sulfuric acid release to air for 2009. Premcor reported a 814,000-pound decrease in nitrate compounds released to water, INVISTA Seaford reported a 250,000-pound decrease, and Perdue Georgetown reported a 134,000-pound decrease

Valero announced on Nov. 20, 2009 that it would close the Premcor Delaware City refinery immediately, but because the facility operated for most of 2009, TRI data from this facility for 2009 is reported in the report.  Propylene releases to air from the frozen earth storage unit, which is now closed and being emptied, were reported for 2009 as 62,500 pounds for 2009. The unit should be empty by December 15, 2010. See the DNREC press release issued at the time for more details.

The total amount released on-site to land decreased by 348,500 pounds. This was largely the result of decreases in the reported amounts of by-products from coal combustion disposed of at the Indian River Power Plant facility on-site landfill in 2009.

The three facilities that closed in 2008-2009 - Chrysler, General Motors, and Dow Reichhold - did not have amounts to report for 2009 and only contributed a small amount toward the reductions.   Their combined amounts of on-site releases for 2008 were only 191,000 pounds, or about 4.5 percent of the total reduction for 2009. The declining economy was a significant factor for 2009, as many facilities reported lower production, and lower releases, than for 2008. Over half of the reduction in on-site release amounts is related to the declining economy.

Delaware Results: Total TRI Waste
All categories of release and waste management – on-site releases, transfers off-site, and on-site waste management – reported reductions compared to 2008. Analysis of Delaware 2009 toxic waste data indicates that TRI-reported total toxic waste, showed a total amount of approximately 75.0 million pounds, a 24.4 percent decrease from 99.2 million pounds reported for 2008. This is also a 51 percent decline, or 77.4 million pounds, compared to the 152.4 million pounds reported for 1998. The 1998 year is used as a baseline because the TRI reporting requirements were significantly expanded that year, requiring more facilities to begin reporting to the TRI program.

Waste amounts sent off-site for processing and disposal decreased by 4.4 million pounds in 2009, largely the result of decreases in Methanol sent off-site for recycling by Ciba, zinc compounds sent off-site for recycling by Evraz Claymont Steel, and toluene sent off-site for energy recovery by Noramco.  Other variations were reported as part of normal cycles of increasing and decreasing production and finding better ways to manage the waste products created at the respective facilities.

Delaware Results: TRI Reporting of Persistent, Bioaccumulative and Toxic Chemicals (PBTs)
Of the 62 reporting facilities for 2009, 25 reported on 11 PBT substances for a total amount of 20,112 pounds of PBT substances released on-site to the environment. This is down from the 33,673 pounds reported in 2008. Lower reported amounts from the Indian River Power Plant were largely responsible for the decrease. These amounts were sent to the facility’s on-site landfill in 2009. The facility has been permitted to construct a state-of-the art landfill, which includes protective elements such as a cap to prevent escape of air-borne dust, and an impervious liner to prevent leakage of liquids. NRG is cooperating with DNREC to install monitors for particulate matter to determine any off-site impacts of airborne ash. Statewide, the net change was a 13,561-pound decrease in PBT on-site releases for 2009. For all PBT chemicals at all facilities the total of on-site releases and disposal off-site was a decrease of 13,339 pounds compared to 2008. Most prominent was a 10,300-pound decrease in on-site release of lead compounds at the Indian River Power Plant, balanced by smaller increases and decreases at other facilities.

In conjunction with efforts to reduce mercury emissions, DNREC, with the aid of a review committee, developed a new multi-pollutant regulation to reduce nitrogen oxides (NOx), sulfur oxides (SOx) and mercury (Hg) emissions from Delaware's coal and residual oil fired electric generating power plants. The reduction in emissions has begun improve ambient air quality in Delaware and in downwind states, and is helping the state demonstrate progress toward attaining air quality standards for ground level ozone and other clean air federal obligations.

National Perspective
As of the date Delaware’s TRI inventory was released, EPA had not released the national 2009 TRI report. However, placing the 2009 Delaware reports alongside the 2008 EPA reports provides a national TRI perspective for the state. This data shows that Delaware ranks 44th of the 50 states in total on-site releases for all TRI chemicals.

For more information
Copies of submittals from individual facilities are available upon request. Because the program reporting requirements change each year, comparison with prior years may not be valid without proper adjustments. The 2009 TRI data, as well as data from earlier years dating back to 1995, is available via easy-to-use online searchable format at: www.serc.delaware.gov/services/search/index.shtml.

DNREC has published both technical and non-technical reports summarizing the 2009 TRI data. Reports for the 2009 data and previous years back to 1998 are available online at: www.serc.delaware.gov/reports.

 
 
Michael Globetti
 
Public Affairs-Office of the Secretary
Dept. of Natural Resources
and Environmental Control