Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Toxic releases down from North American industry leaders, increasing from other facilities

22.10.2007
New Mexican data support first trinational analysis of pollutant release and transfers

The latest Taking Stock report from the Commission for Environmental Cooperation (CEC) reveals that a continued decline in releases of toxic chemicals to the environment—15 percent for the United States and Canada from 1998 to 2004—is being driven by a group of industrial facilities that are the largest generators of emissions.

The CEC report, however, also reveals that the leading role of the largest waste-producing facilities stands in stark contrast to a substantial increase in chemical releases and transfers by a much larger group of industrial facilities that report lower volumes of emissions.

Released today, the annual report compares industrial pollution from a matched set of facilities in Canada and the United States—three million tonnes of chemicals released or transferred in the two countries in 2004. Over one-third of that amount was released at the location of reporting facilities, including over 700,000 tonnes released to the air, with another third transferred to recycling. For the first time, the CEC report also provides data from Mexico. Across the three countries, metals and their compounds—lead, chromium, nickel and mercury—were reported by the highest proportion of facilities.

“The evidence is clear that industry and government action to limit chemical releases is showing steady progress,” said Adrián Vázquez-Gálvez, CEC’s executive director. “It is equally clear that a large number of small and medium-size industrial facilities need to do a better job in reducing their waste and emissions if we are going to see even greater progress in North America. We trust the progress shown by industry leaders and the fact that pollution prevention is a proven strategy will encourage everyone to tackle pollution issues at the source.”

The CEC’s analysis demonstrates that facilities from Canada and the United States that reported pollution prevention activities—product and process redesign, spill and leak detection, and substituting raw materials—showed reductions from 2002–2004. Facilities not engaged in these activities did not show similar progress.

A new chapter provides a detailed look at industrial recycling, finding that over one-third of US and Canadian releases and transfers reported in 2004—more than 1 million tonnes—were recycled. Recycling has increased in recent years due to increases in production and in scrap metal prices. Most of the materials were metals, including copper, zinc, lead and their compounds.

The trilateral analysis is based on matched data from some 9 industrial sectors, 56 chemicals, and 10,000 facilities, comparing releases and transfers for similar facilities in Canada, Mexico and the United States. The report identifies a different pattern of releases and transfers in each of the three countries.

Comparisons of the three countries’ industrial emissions will continue to improve as the CEC works with governments, industry and NGOs to expand the number of chemicals and facilities that are comparable.

Taking Stock compiles data from Canada’s National Pollutant Release Inventory, the United States’ Toxics Release Inventory, and, starting with its first year of mandatory reporting in 2004, Mexico’s pollutant release and transfer register, the Registro de Emisiones y Transferencia de Contaminantes.

To query the CEC database about a particular facility, industrial sector, province or state: Taking Stock Online www.cec.org/takingstock

Users can customize reports by chemical, facility, sector or geographic region.

Note as well that with new information on chemical releases and transfers from Mexican industrial sources, the CEC has created the first seamless, North America-wide map layer displaying point-specific industrial pollutant data in Canada, Mexico and the United States. Using the Google Earth mapping service, the CEC’s map layer plots over 33,000 North American industrial facilities that reported releases and transfers of pollutants in 2004.

For more information, please contact:

Danielle Vallée
Commission for Environmental Cooperation
(514) 350-4333
Media Relations
Environment Canada
(819) 934-8008
Suzanne Ackerman
US Environmental Protection Agency
(202) 564-7819
Francisco Parra
Semarnat
+ (52) 55 5628 0891

Terry Collins | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.cec.org/naatlas/prtr

More articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation:

nachricht Despite government claims, orangutan populations have not increased. Call for better monitoring
06.11.2018 | Deutsches Zentrum für integrative Biodiversitätsforschung (iDiv) Halle-Jena-Leipzig

nachricht Increasing frequency of ocean storms could alter kelp forest ecosystems
30.10.2018 | University of Virginia

All articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: A Chip with Blood Vessels

Biochips have been developed at TU Wien (Vienna), on which tissue can be produced and examined. This allows supplying the tissue with different substances in a very controlled way.

Cultivating human cells in the Petri dish is not a big challenge today. Producing artificial tissue, however, permeated by fine blood vessels, is a much more...

Im Focus: A Leap Into Quantum Technology

Faster and secure data communication: This is the goal of a new joint project involving physicists from the University of Würzburg. The German Federal Ministry of Education and Research funds the project with 14.8 million euro.

In our digital world data security and secure communication are becoming more and more important. Quantum communication is a promising approach to achieve...

Im Focus: Research icebreaker Polarstern begins the Antarctic season

What does it look like below the ice shelf of the calved massive iceberg A68?

On Saturday, 10 November 2018, the research icebreaker Polarstern will leave its homeport of Bremerhaven, bound for Cape Town, South Africa.

Im Focus: Penn engineers develop ultrathin, ultralight 'nanocardboard'

When choosing materials to make something, trade-offs need to be made between a host of properties, such as thickness, stiffness and weight. Depending on the application in question, finding just the right balance is the difference between success and failure

Now, a team of Penn Engineers has demonstrated a new material they call "nanocardboard," an ultrathin equivalent of corrugated paper cardboard. A square...

Im Focus: Coping with errors in the quantum age

Physicists at ETH Zurich demonstrate how errors that occur during the manipulation of quantum system can be monitored and corrected on the fly

The field of quantum computation has seen tremendous progress in recent years. Bit by bit, quantum devices start to challenge conventional computers, at least...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

“3rd Conference on Laser Polishing – LaP 2018” Attracts International Experts and Users

09.11.2018 | Event News

On the brain’s ability to find the right direction

06.11.2018 | Event News

European Space Talks: Weltraumschrott – eine Gefahr für die Gesellschaft?

23.10.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

The dawn of a new era for genebanks - molecular characterisation of an entire genebank collection

13.11.2018 | Life Sciences

Fish recognize their prey by electric colors

13.11.2018 | Life Sciences

Ultrasound Connects

13.11.2018 | Awards Funding

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>