Toxics Release Inventory (TRI) Program

2011 TRI National Analysis: Urban Communities - Seattle Metropolitan Area

Metro Seattle
TRI facilities in Seattle Metropolitan Area

Quick Facts for 2011

Number of TRI Facilities: 142
Total On-site and Off-site Disposal
or Other Releases:
3.6 million lbs
Total On-site: 2.2 million lbs
• Air: 1.8 million lbs
• Water: 240 thousand lbs
• Land: 117 thousand lbs
• Underground Injection: 1 lbs
Total Off-site: 1.4 million lbs

View definitions of TRI terms

The Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, WA metropolitan statistical area in the Puget Sound region of Washington is composed of King, Snohomish, and Pierce counties. With a population of 3.5 million, it is the 15th largest U.S. metropolitan statistical area. Other cities in the Seattle metropolitan area include Tacoma, Bellevue, Everett, Kent, Renton, and Auburn.

Economic activity within the metropolitan area includes the manufacturing of aircraft, ships, biomedical products, forest products, seafood products, aluminum, steel, textiles, clothing, electronics, and metal and glass products. In addition, the Port of Seattle is a major port city for trans-Pacific and European trade and is the fifth largest container port in the United States.

The Seattle metropolitan area sits on the shores of the Puget Sound, a large system of salt water estuaries. Puget Sound is one of the most ecologically diverse estuaries in North America. However, like other urban areas of the country with neighboring estuaries, the growing population and industrial activity in the Seattle metropolitan area impacts this important natural resource.

Air releases accounted for 83% of total on-site disposal or other releases in the Seattle metropolitan area during 2011. The paper products sector reported 55% of the total air releases, mainly composed of hydrochloric acid and methanol. This sector also accounted for more than 99% of chemicals discharged to surface water, mainly nitrate compounds and methanol. One pulp and paper mill accounted for 44% of all air releases and 59% of all surface water discharges reported by facilities in the Seattle metropolitan area.

From 2003 to 2011, total on-site disposal or other releases decreased by 39% and by 2% from 2010 to 2011. Air releases decreased by 38% from 2003 to 2011 but increased by 2% from 2010 to 2011. The transportation equipment sector increased air releases by 76% from 2010 to 2011, but had an overall decrease of 56% from 2003 to 2011. The paper products industry decreased its air releases by 28% from 2003 to 2011, including a decrease of 11% from 2010 to 2011. Surface water discharges decreased by 46% from 2003 to 2011 and by 32% from 2010 to 2011. The paper products industry decreased chemicals discharged to water by 46% from 2003 to 2011, including a 32% decrease from 2010 to 2011.

Top Five Metro Seattle

Top Five Metro Seattle

Top Five Chemicals by Environmental Medium
Seattle Metropolitan Area, 2011

Top Five Metro Seattle

Top Five Metro Seattle

Top Five Metro Seattle

Top Five Metro Seattle

Note: This page was published in January of 2013 and uses the TRI National Analysis dataset made public in TRI Explorer in November 2012.