GO TO THIS WEB PAGE select TRANSFERS TO POTWs Metals and non metals

EPA Toxics Release Inventory – 2006

Waste Transfer: Chemical Report to POTWs

(publicly owned sewage treatment works)

Data source: 2006 Data Update Select 2006 PDR data set (frozen on October 12, 2007 and released to the public on February 21, 2008)

255,060,784 pounds of Non-metals – hazardous industrial chemicals to POTWs (down from 262,904,056 pounds in 2005)

1,735,360 – pounds of toxic Metals and metal compounds to POTWs (up from 1,735,360 pounds in 2005

Dioxin & Dioxin like compounds to POTWs 168.886 pounds (up from 99.9313 pounds in 2005)

Note that in the table above, asterisks are shown to indicate that data for Dioxin and Dioxin-like compounds in grams (as required by EPA) was reported by the facility. EPA has converted these data into pounds and included them in the table totals (in pounds). Please refer to the Dioxin and Dioxin-like compounds table below for reported amounts of Dioxin and Dioxin-like compounds in grams. Grams can be converted to pounds by multiplying by 0.002205.)

Dishonorable Discharge
Toxic Pollution of America’s Waters

Under existing federal pollution control laws, the American people are kept in the dark about the vast majority of toxic pollution spewed into the environment by U.S. industry. Even the most comprehensive toxic pollution reporting system in the nation, the Toxics Release Inventory (TRI), accounts for only about 5 percent of all toxic pollution of the environment each year (GAO 1991, EPA 1996c).

Thus, if 255 million pounds = 5% – then 100% of hazardous chemicals discharged to POTWs in 2006 would be over 5.1 BILLION POUNDS . . . . .

If 2.7 million pounds = 5% of toxic metals — then 100% of toxic metals discharged to POTWs in 2006 would be over 54 million pounds . . . .

NOTE – THERE ARE ONLY 519 CHEMICALS ON THIS EPA TRI LIST OF CHEMICALs (including both metals and non-metals) MONITORED FOR DISCHARGES to POTWS a tiny fraction of the over 93,000 chemicals EPA acknowledges are in commerce today . . . . .

“Poly brominated biphenyls” are listed as “0” . . . and there is no listing for polybrominated diphenyl ethers – (brominated flame retardants ). . . . which Dr. Rob Hale has found in significant levels in sludge . . . . . NOTE – Subject: EPA 15 ADDITIONAL CHEMICALS IN SLUDGE CONSIDERED FOR REGULATION 2004

An EPA analysis found 15 chemicals that could potentially pose unacceptable risks: acetone, anthracene, barium, beryllium, carbon disulfide, 4-chloroaniline, diazinon, fluoranthene, manganese, methyl ethyl ketone, nitrate, nitrite, phenol, pyrene and silver.

Let’s compare EPA’s list of 15 chemicals in sludge which may need more regulations – with the EPAs list of 514 chemicals monitored by Toxics Release Inventory for discharge to POTWs:

Acetone – not on EPAs list for monitoring

Anthracene – only 113 pounds listed as being discharged into POTWs
for whole country

Barium – “0” pounds listed as being discharged into POTWs

Beryllium – “0” pounds listed as being discharged to POTWs

Carbon disulfide – 167,724 pounds discharged to POTWs

4-Chloroaniline – only 2085 pounds listed to POTWs for whole country

Diazinon – Only 5 pounds to POTWs for whole country

Fluoranthene – NOT on EPA’s list for monitoring

Methyl Ethyl Ketone (2-Butanone) – NOT on EPA’s list for monitoring

Nitrate – over 132 million pounds discharged to POTWs

Nitrite (sodium nitrite?) – over 1.9 million pounds discharged to POTWs

Phenol – over 1.3 million pounds discharged to POTWs

Pyrene – NOT on EPA’s list for monitoring

Silver – “0” pounds listed as discharged to POTWs

Antimony – another problem metal “0” pounds listed as discharged to POTWs

THOUSANDS of businesses are allowed to file “Form As” which exempt them from reporting toxic discharges.

AND FEDERAL LAW permits every business and industry in the United States to dump 33 pounds of hazardous wastes into public sewers every month with no reporting requirements [ 40CFR 403.12)P)(2) ] and this same law provides for only a one time reporting if acutely hazardous wastes, or more than 33 pounds of hazardous wastes, are dumped into the public sewers;

None of the toxic pollutants excluded from reporting by Form A and excluded from reporting by the “33 pound” federal law, are included in the Toxics Release Inventory.

Also missing from US EPA’s Toxics Release Inventory of chemical discharges to public sewers (and air, land and surface waters), are the vast majority of HPVs – High production volume chemicals in US commerce today . . .


High production volume chemicals have annual production and/or importation volumes above 1 million pounds. In the U.S., about 3,300 chemicals (excluding polymers) out of approximately 70,000 chemicals in commerce are used in such substantial quantities. While there are no authoritative estimates of the amount of total chemical use in the U.S., 4.4 to 7.1 trillion pounds of HPV chemicals are produced/imported annually.

And the US EPA does not require any testing for the drugs and pharmaceuticals which are showing up around the country in drinking water and surface waters from sewage. The wastewater treatment process partitions the drugs and pharmaceuticals between the sewage effluent discharged to surface waters and the sewage sludge “biosolids” spread on land.