The Environment & You: Who Has Released What into the Environment. Helena VonVille, MLS Library Directory University of Texas School of Public Health at Houston. Harris County Public Library. Who has released what into your community?. Information from the Toxics Release Inventory
Helena VonVille, MLS
University of Texas School of Public Health at Houston
Harris County Public Library
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Click on the map to recenter it. For example, click on Houston to view more of east Texas.
This is after recentering the map.
Click on + to zoom in. You will need to do so a few times.
Now that we’ve zoomed in, we need to recenter by clicking just to the east of Houston, south of I-10.
Click on Identify facilities on this map to see the names of the facilities shown in blue on the map.
Hint: You can use the ZOOM bars to move in more quickly. However, don’t zoom too quickly as you may not end up where you want on the map.
The top 10 facilities by release amount are identified on the map. A list appears to the right with links to summary reports for each facility.
Click on the facility name to view the summary report.
The summary report provides a list of the top 5 chemicals by amount released (in pounds) for all years combined from 1987 to 2002.
To view each TRI report by year and chemical, click on All chemicals reported by this facility.
The most current reports (2002) will appear first; click on the company name above the chemical you want to view.
This report shows amount released and where it is released– air, water, land/landfills.
When finished with this report, you can also return to the previous page by clicking on Search Results at the top.
To return to TOXMAP, simply close the report window.
Back at TOXMAP, click on the releases tab to do a search on the chemical you want to investigate.
Take me to TOXMAPSearch TOXMAP by Chemical Name
Click on Human Health Effects to do a search in the Hazardous Substances Data Bank.
This takes us back to TOXMAP, but now we see only those facilities that released mercury compounds in the area displayed by our map.
A list of various types of mercury compounds is returned, with the chemical we want at the top of the list.
See “The Environment & You: Health Effects” for more information on the HSDB.
Back at the Chemical Reference Info menu, click on ToxFAQs & Public Health Statements
Take me to TOXMAPATSDR Reports
ToxFAQs are briefer than the Public Health Statements. Both are written in a style that is easier to understand than the HSDB.
See “The Environment & You: Health Effects” for more information on both of the ATSDR reports.
This example will demonstrate how to create a Chemicalreport.
Take me to TRI ExplorerTRI Explorer Home Page
Under Geographic Location, chooseSelect a state or a county
Select Texas, thenclick theSelect from List of Countiesbutton. The actual county selection is the last step.
Select the type of chemicals you want to view. In this case, we are choosing Select a chemical group (e.g. HAPs). HAP stands for Hazardous Air Pollutants
Select theChemical Released again. Now we will select all Hazardous air pollutants.
UnderIndustry, chooseSelect from list of SIC Code(s).
In the window that pops up, select the industries for which you would like reports. In this example, Chemicals and Petroleum are the two industries selected.
Now select a county. Why wait? If you do it too soon, you lose your county when you make your other selections.
Note: You can change the Year of Data; this example will use 2002.
Click on Generate Report.
The line above the table describes the contents of the report: All TRI on-site and off-site HAP reported releases in pounds for petroleum and chemical companies in Harris County.
The top 2 rows of the table show where the pollutants were released– on-site or off-site and into wells, landfills, the air, surface water, etc.
Need a definition of any of the release locations?
Click on any of the items in the 2nd line to get a definition of the term.
The up/down triangles sort that column. The triangle in red indicates which column is sorted and if the sort is ascending or descending. The default is alphabetical by chemical name, but you can sort by amount released in any of the columns.
Scroll down to Download the data generated in this report to a spreadsheet.
Below that, the Note field provides definitions and other important information.
Changing the type of report will also change some of the variables (geographic location, chemical released, industry, etc.) from which you can choose. However, it is the same basic process to create the reports. You may have to play with the TRI Explorer some to get exactly what you need, but it is well worth the effort!
Another feature is the ability to create a map. This will look different from the TOXMAP site, but by using it in combination with TOXMAP you can create a very powerful statement!
Just as with the reports, select the variables you want. In this case, the map will show releases of PBT (Persistent, Bioaccumulative, and Toxic) Chemicals in the United States by County for AllIndustries for 2002.
Click on Texas to zoom in.
Texas Gulf Coast
Right click on a county to view a list of reports that are available.
Amazingly enough, San Patricio County (SE TX) has the highest amount of PBTs released in Texas, almost all in lead compounds from one company.
Selecting TRI Chemicals brings us back to the TRI Explorer. This list has been reordered so the chemical with the largest release (lead) is shown first.
to the NRC
To search by a date range, enter:
between mm/dd/yyyy mm/dd/yyyy
between 11/01/2004 12/01/2004
between 05/01/2003 07/31/2003
While you do not have to fill in all of the blanks, select at least a County; include the state as well.
to the NRC
You can also sort the report. In this case, the report is in order by incident date.
to the NRC
Each report includes the date of the release, the address of the occurrence, county & city, the company involved (if known), what was affected (water, air, etc.), and the chemical released.
To view an individual report, click on the View link.
This report shows that 20 pounds of benzene were released on March 23, 2005 into the air. This is one of several reports from the BP plant explosion in Texas City.
You can search for reports by specific customer, by regulated industry, or by data and county or region. The example here will demonstrate by date and county.
Fill in the date where you want to begin searching. You can also specify a range of dates.
Enter the name of the county you would like to look up and click the radio button beside County.
Click on the Tracking Number to view the detailed report.
The report tells who
The cause (if known), action that was taken, and how emissions were estimated.
Take me to Air Emission Event Report DatabaseRelease Report
The report shows what was released.
And how much based on estimates.
It also indicates the permit limits for releases of that chemical.