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2011 TRI National Analysis: Large Aquatic Ecosystems - Lake Champlain Basin
TRI facilities in Lake Champlain Basin
Quick Facts for 2011
|Number of TRI Facilities:||29|
|Total On-site and Off-site Disposal
or Other Releases:
|636 thousand lbs|
|Total On-site:||503 thousand lbs|
|• Air:||191 thousand lbs|
|• Water:||229 thousand lbs|
|• Land:||83 thousand lbs|
|• Underground Injection:||none|
|Total Off-site:||133 thousand lbs|
Lake Champlain is situated between the states of New York, Vermont, and the Canadian province of Quebec. The Lake's watershed, which covers an area of 6,800 square miles in the U.S., is located in the Champlain Valley, between the Green Mountains of Vermont, the Adirondack Mountains of New York, and it includes portions of Quebec. The Lake is used for drinking water for over 200,000 people, as well as for fishing and recreation.
Air releases were 38% and surface water discharges were 45% of total on-site disposal or other releases in the Lake Champlain watershed in 2011. One paper mill reported 88% of the total air releases for 2011, mainly composed of methanol and ammonia. Air releases from facilities in the Lake's watershed region decreased by 62% from 2003 to 2011 and by 22% from 2010 to 2011.
In the Lake Champlain watershed, nitrates and phosphorous are released to surface water primarily through agricultural runoff and municipal wastewater treatment plants. However, nitrates are also discharged from TRI facilities producing paper products and computer/electronic components. One facility producing semiconductors and related devices reported 57% of total surface water discharges for 2011, mainly composed of nitrate compounds. One paper mill reported 42% of surface water discharges, mainly manganese compounds and nitrate compounds. The paper mill decreased surface water discharges from 2010 to 2011. However, the computer/electronic components manufacturer increased surface water discharges during that same time period, resulting in an overall increase of 3% from 2010 to 2011. Surface water discharges decreased by 6% from 2003 to 2011 for the region.
The largest amounts of on-site land disposal or other releases in 2011 were primarily from paper mills and federal facilities and consisted mainly of manganese, zinc and its compounds, as well as methanol from paper mills. Federal facilities reported disposing of lead and its compounds. On-site land disposal or other releases in the Lake Champlain watershed decreased by 14% from 2010 to 2011, but increased overall by 59% from 2003 to 2011, due to reporting by one paper mill.
In 1996, New York, Vermont, and the EPA endorsed the Lake Champlain Basin Program as a pollution prevention, control, and restoration plan for Lake Champlain. The government of Quebec joined the Program in 2003. The plan primarily aims to reduce high phosphorus levels in the Lake, which cause damaging algal blooms. Another priority of the plan is to reduce the amounts of toxic substances entering the Lake. Toxics, such as PCBs and mercury, which accumulate in the aquatic food chain, have resulted in fish consumption advisories. To learn more about ongoing efforts to protect Lake Champlain, visit: www.lcbp.org Exit.
Top Five Chemicals by Environmental Medium Lake Champlain Basin, 2011