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Voluntary U.S. EPA/Industry Program Commits to Cut Toxic Wastes

[EPA press release - July 19, 1991]

EPA Administrator William K. Reilly today announced the first results of the 33/50 Program that seeks voluntary reductions of toxic emissions by industry. To date, according to Reilly, more than 200 companies have committed to reducing their emissions at industrial facilities an average of 50 percent by 1995, which would yield an overall reduction of over 200 million pounds of toxic releases.

The 33/50 Program is an EPA pollution prevention initiative designed to reduce industrial toxics generation quickly through voluntary actions by industry. The program derives its name from EPA's national reduction goals for 17 high priority toxic pollutants (list attached)--50 percent reduction by 1995, with an interim goal of 33 percent by 1992, using 1988 as a baseline.

"I am tremendously excited by industry's willingness to make ambitious voluntary commitments to environmental protection," EPA Administrator William K. Reilly said. "This program is a promising experiment to see if voluntary goals can work, alongside our conventional regulatory approach, for achieving quick environmental results. I am encouraged by these early commitments. I also recognize the considerable effort needed to meet--or exceed--our national goal of 50 percent reduction. We have 200 million pounds of commitments thus far. We need much more for the program to succeed.

"I expect to see many more commitments, and I expect we'll see our goals reached. There's a revolution underway in many companies across this country. A new generation of industry statesmen are asking new questions about wastes and disposal, about manufacturing processes, about packaging--all with the aim of reducing toxic releases. Why? Because in many instances they know it's not only good for the environment, but it's good for their bottom line, their profits. They're figuring out how to save money, and I want EPA to do everything it can to encourage toxic reductions that have both environmental and economic benefits," Reilly said.

The 33/50 Progress Report released today shows that over 6,000 companies reported 1.4 billion pounds of the 33/50 pollutants to the Toxics Release Inventory (TRI) in 1988. Reducing this amount by 50 percent by 1995 will eliminate 700 million pounds of releases and transfers of these chemicals.

EPA has invited 600 companies with the largest volumes of chemicals to participate in the program. Of these "first round" companies, 236 have responded with clear-cut commitments to participate in the 33/50 Program (list attached). These companies, on average, have committed to reductions of 50 percent by 1995 by promising to eliminate over 200 million pounds of toxic emissions. Although actual commitments are considerably larger than this amount, many company commitments require further clarification before they can be included in 33/50 totals.

Participation in 33/50 is still open, and many of the first-round companies that have not yet signed up for the program have indicated that they will in the coming months. In addition, EPA is currently contacting thousands of other companies (about 6,000 in total) to seek their participation in the 33/50 Program.

A number of companies have extended their commitments well beyond the 17 chemicals targeted by the 33/50 Program. For instance, Baxter International, in addition to setting an 80 percent reduction goal for the 33/50 list of chemicals, has also established an 80 percent goal for reducing air releases of all 189 chemicals covered by the new Clean Air Act Amendments, as well as all chlorofluorocarbons, by 1996. Merck & Co., in addition to its 50 percent commitment for 33/50 list chemicals, will also reduce releases of all TRI chemicals by 90 percent by 1995 (using 1987 as a baseline). Both Baxter and Merck have extended their commitments to facilities outside the United States, as have AT&T, Dow, James River Corp., and Hewlett-Packard.

In addition to explicit commitments from several hundred companies, the Progress Report also shows that TRI releases and transfers from 6,000 companies that reported one or more of the 17 chemicals have declined somewhat from a total of 1.4 billion pounds in 1988, to 1.3 billion in 1989. Future reports will examine in detail the reasons for the decreases, the role of 33/50 commitments in encouraging them, and the contribution made by pollution prevention practices. "TRI decreases are moving in the right direction," said Reilly. "We want to accelerate that progress, involve as many companies as possible, and maximize the role of pollution prevention in reducing toxic releases."

EPA'S 33/50 Program: The 17 Chemicals Targeted for Reductions

  • Benzene
  • Cadmium & Compounds
  • Carbon Tetrachloride
  • Chloroform
  • Chromium & Compounds
  • Cyanides
  • Dichloromethane
  • Lead & Compounds
  • Mercury & Compounds
  • Methyl Ethyl Ketone
  • Methyl Isobutyl Ketone
  • Nickel & Compounds
  • Tetrachloroethylene
  • Toluene
  • Trichloroethane
  • Trichloroethylene
  • Xylene(s)

Companies Committing to the 33/50 Program as of June 1991

  • 3M
  • ACME STEEL
  • AEROVOX
  • AIR PRODUCTS & CHEMICALS
  • AKZO CHEMICALS
  • ALADDIN INDUSTRIES
  • ALDAN RUBBER
  • ALLEGHENY LUDLUM
  • ALLIED SIGNAL
  • ALUMINUM CO. OF AMERICA
  • AMERICAN CAST IRON PIPE
  • AMERICAN CYANAMID
  • AMERICAN SAFETY RAZOR
  • AMERICAN STANDARD
  • AMERICAN SYNTHETIC RUBBER
  • AMERICAN TELEPHONE & TELEGRAPH
  • AMOCO
  • AMSTED INDUSTRIES
  • ANDERSEN
  • ARCHER COMPANY
  • ARCO PRODUCTS
  • ARISTECH CHEMICAL
  • ARMSTRONG WORLD INDUSTRIES
  • ASARCO
  • ASHLAND OIL
  • AUBURN FOUNDRY
  • AVONDALE INDUSTRIES
  • BARNHARDT MANUFACTURING
  • BASF
  • BASSETT FURNITURE
  • BAXTER INTERNATIONAL
  • BAYER USA
  • BAYOU STEEL
  • BETHLEHEM STEEL
  • BOEING
  • BOISE CASCADE
  • BORDEN
  • BOWATER
  • BP AMERICA
  • BRISTOL-MEYERS SQUIBB
  • B. F. GOODRICH
  • CABOT
  • CARGILL
  • CARPENTER TECHNOLOGY
  • CHAMPION INTERNATIONAL
  • CHAPARRAL STEEL
  • CHEM-TECH RUBBER
  • CHEVRON
  • CIBA-GEIGY
  • CMC STEEL GROUP
  • COLEMAN OUTDOOR PRODUCTS
  • CORNING
  • CROWN CORK & SEAL
  • CYCLOPS INDUSTRIES
  • DALLAS WOODCRAFT
  • DALTON FOUNDRIES
  • DEGUSSA
  • DITTLER BROTHERS
  • DOE RUN
  • DOW
  • DOW CORNING
  • DU PONT
  • DUO FAST
  • DURACELL INC.
  • EAGLE OTTAWA LEATHER
  • EAGLE-PICHER INDUSTRIES
  • EASTON FOAM
  • EATON
  • ELI LILLY
  • EMERALD PACKAGING
  • ENGELHARD
  • ETHYL CORP.
  • EVANITE FIBERS
  • EXXON
  • FACILE HOLDINGS
  • FEDERAL MOGUL
  • FEDERAL PAPER BOARD
  • FINA
  • FINITE INDUSTRIES
  • FIRST CHEMICAL
  • FLEXCON
  • FMC
  • FORD MOTOR
  • FRANKLIN INDUSTRIES
  • GAF
  • GENCORP
  • GENERAL DYNAMICS
  • GENERAL ELECTRIC
  • GENERAL MOTORS
  • GENEVA STEEL
  • GEORGIA-PACIFIC
  • GILLETTE
  • GRUMMAN
  • GUARDSMAN PRODUCTS
  • HADCO
  • HALSTEAD INDUSTRIES
  • HANDY & HARMAN
  • HANLIN GROUP
  • HERCULES
  • HEWLETT-PACKARD
  • HOECHST CELANESE
  • HOFFMAN-LA ROCHE
  • HONDA
  • IBM
  • ICI AMERICAN HOLDINGS
  • ILLINOIS TOOL WORKS
  • INCO UNITED STATES
  • INGERSOLL-RAND
  • INLAND STEEL INDUSTRIES
  • INTEL
  • INTERNATIONAL PAPER
  • IR INTERNATIONAL
  • IRVING TANNING CO.
  • J & L SPECIALTY PRODUCTS
  • JADE SYSTEMS
  • JAMES RIVER
  • J.I. CASE
  • KALAMA CHEMICAL
  • KEENE
  • KENNECOTT
  • KERN-LIEBERS USA
  • KERR-MCGEE
  • KODAK
  • LINCOLN ELECTRIC
  • LOCKHEED
  • LOMAC
  • LOUISIANA PACIFIC
  • LTV AEROSPACE
  • LTV STEEL
  • LYONDELL PETROCHEMICAL
  • MAC LEAN-FOGG
  • MADIX
  • MALLINCKRODT
  • MANVILLE
  • ARION MERRELL DOW
  • MARTIN MARIETTA
  • MASCO CORP.
  • MASCO INDUSTRIES
  • MCDONNELL DOUGLAS
  • MEAD
  • MERCK
  • MILLIKEN
  • MOBIL
  • MODINE MANUFACTURING
  • MOLDED FIBER GLASS CO.
  • MONROE AUTO EQUP.
  • MONSANTO
  • MOORE BUSINESS FORMS
  • MOTOROLA
  • NEWELL OPERATING
  • NORTH STAR STEEL
  • NORTHROP
  • OCCIDENTAL CHEMICAL
  • OLIN
  • OREGON STEEL MILLS
  • OWENS-CORNING FIBERGLASS
  • O'SULLIVAN
  • PACKAGING CORP. OF AMERICA
  • PARKER HANNIFIN
  • PEERLESS OF AMERICA
  • PENNZOIL
  • PERRIGO
  • PFISTER CHEMICAL
  • PFIZER
  • PHILLIPS PETROLEUM
  • PHOTOCIRCUITS CORP.
  • POLAROID
  • POLY PAK INDUSTRIES
  • POTLATCH
  • PPG INDUSTRIES
  • PRECISION CASTPARTS
  • PRINTED CIRCUIT
  • PROCTER & GAMBLE
  • PROVIDENCE METALLIZING
  • RAYTHEON
  • REPUBLIC ENGINEERED STEELS
  • REYNOLDS METALS
  • RHONE-POULENC
  • ROCKWELL INTERNATIONAL
  • ROHM & HAAS
  • ROLSCREEN
  • ROSEBURG LUMBER
  • RSR
  • RUBICON
  • RUSSELL
  • SARTORIUS
  • SCHERING-PLOUGH
  • SCOTT PAPER
  • SHELL OIL
  • SHERWIN-WILLIAMS
  • SHUFORD MILLS
  • SIMPSON PAPER
  • SLATER STEELS
  • SMITHKLINE BEECHAM
  • SNYDDERGENERAL
  • SONOCO PRODUCTS
  • STANDARD INDUSTRIES
  • STAR ENTERPRISE
  • STEELCASE
  • STERLING CHEMICALS
  • STOREYS TRANSPRINTS
  • SYNTEX AGRIBUSINESS
  • TECUMSEH PRODUCTS
  • TEMPLE-INLAND FOREST PROD.
  • TEXACO
  • TEXAS INSTRUMENTS
  • THIOKOL
  • THOMAS INDUSTRIES
  • THOMAS STEEL STRIP
  • THOMSON CONSUMER ELECT.
  • TIMKEN
  • TRINOVA
  • UNION CAMP
  • UNION CARBIDE
  • UNION ZINC
  • UNIROYAL CHEMICAL
  • UNITED TECHNOLOGIES
  • UNOCAL
  • UPJOHN
  • U.S. STEEL
  • USS-POSCO INDUSTRIES
  • VARIAN ASSOCIATES
  • VELSICOL CHEMICAL
  • VULCAN MATERIALS
  • VYTECH
  • WASHINGTON STEEL
  • WEIRTON STEEL
  • WESTINGHOUSE ELECTRIC
  • WESTVACO
  • WEYERHAEUSER
  • WHITE CONSOLIDATED IND.
  • WITCO
  • WOLVERINE TUBE
  • WOODBRIDGE HOLDINGS
  • W. R. GRACE
  • XEROX

The list includes all companies providing numerical commitments as well as those that indicated commitments are pending. Some companies submitted letters supporting the 33/50 Program, but providing no explicit commitments. These have not been listed here. EPA will clarify with these companies the nature of their response, and will include them in future reports, as appropriate.