The list was compiled with data reported to the EPA for its Toxics Release Inventory Program, which annually records information on nearly 650 chemicals and chemical categories from large industrial facilities, manufacturers and others. The chemicals often are legally permitted emissions to the air, discharges to waterways and underground injection wells, or shipments to landfills with leak-detection systems.
The data is from 2009 and, as in prior years, does not assess health risks. The state's top 10 list reflects total on-site and off-site emissions. Chevron comes in at No. 7, and BP is No. 8. EPA officials say the goal of the TRI program is to arm communities with information "to support informed decision-making at all levels by industry, government, non-governmental organizations and the public." When compared to 2008 statewide numbers, the EPA said toxics managed, treated or released into the environment from industrial facilities decreased by 6 million pounds - a 14 percent drop.
To access the database and find emissions within a certain ZIP code, link to www.epa.gov/tri/ . - Kristin S. Agostoni