Toxics Release Inventory (TRI) Program

2011 TRI National Analysis: Urban Communities - Greater Boston Area

Greater Boston
TRI facilities in Greater Boston Area

Quick Facts for 2011

Number of TRI Facilities: 260
Total On-site and Off-site Disposal
or Other Releases:
1.7 million lb
Total On-site: 1.1 million lb
• Air: 1.1 million lb
• Water: 2 thousand lb
• Land: 20 thousand lb
• Underground Injection: none
Total Off-site: 653 thousand lb

View definitions of TRI terms

The Boston-Cambridge-Quincy, MA-NH metropolitan area, also referred to as the Greater Boston Area, includes five counties in eastern Massachusetts and two counties in southern New Hampshire. The larger cities in the Greater Boston Area include the Massachusetts cities of Cambridge, Quincy, Lowell, Brockton, Lynn, Newton, Somerville, and Lawrence, as well as Nashua, in New Hampshire. Home to over 4.6 million people, Greater Boston is tenth in population among U.S. metropolitan areas.

A number of rivers flow through the Greater Boston Area on their way to Boston Harbor and Massachusetts Bay, including the Charles, Mystic, Neponset, Concord, and Merrimack Rivers. Greater Boston's coastal areas include numerous estuaries that provide home and habitat for shellfish and sea grasses and breeding grounds for important commercial offshore marine fisheries.

The Port of Boston is one of the principal seaports on the east coast. In addition, because Boston is home to one of the nation's largest commercial fishing ports, there is a large seafood processing and food storage industry. Greater Boston is also a hub for biotechnology and life sciences. Other important products produced in Greater Boston include medical devices, military and commercial electronics, missiles and missile guidance systems, chemicals, industrial machinery, printing and publishing, rubber products, and apparel.

Air releases accounted for 98% of on-site disposal or other releases in the Greater Boston metropolitan area in 2011. Fabricated metals facilities had the largest air releases, with 32% of total air releases, mainly composed of n-butyl alcohol and glycol ethers releases. Electric utilities facilities had the second largest with 26% of air releases for the area, mainly comprised of ammonia and hydrochloric acid releases. After the fabricated metals sector, the chemical manufacturing sector had the second largest total disposal or other releases due to its off-site transfers to disposal.

Air releases in the Greater Boston area decreased by 66% from 2003 to 2011 with a 21% decrease from 2010 to 2011. Electric utilities reported an 80% decrease from 2003 to 2011 and a 45% decrease from 2010 to 2011. Fabricated metals facilities decreased air releases by 23% from 2003 to 2011, but had an overall increase of 4% from 2010 to 2011. As a result, while electric utilities reported the largest air releases in 2003 and 2010, the fabricated metals sector reported the largest air releases for 2011.

Top Five Greater Boston

Top Five Greater Boston

Top Five Chemicals by Environmental Medium Greater Boston Area, 2011

Top Five Greater Boston

Top Five Greater Boston

Top Five Greater Boston

Top Five Greater Boston

These charts represent the top five TRI chemicals in pounds released for this urban community, and they include neither all chemicals of concern nor the priority or importance of those chemicals within the urban community.
 
Note: This page was published in January of 2013 and uses the TRI National Analysis dataset made public in TRI Explorer in November 2012.