Toxics Release Inventory (TRI) Program

2012 TRI National Analysis: Urban Communities - Introduction

TRI data can empower citizens through information that helps them better understand industrial activities, environmental releases of toxic chemicals, and potential risks in their communities. Using information from TRI can help inform community members about how toxic chemicals are managed in their neighborhoods and hold companies and governments accountable. TRI data may also serve as a rough indicator of facilities' environmental performance and progress over time. Additionally, knowing that TRI data are publicly available often spurs companies to focus on and improve their chemical management practices.

This section of the National Analysis looks at toxic chemical disposal or releases in urban communities throughout the United States. More than 80% of the country’s population and many of the industrial facilities that report to the TRI Program are located in urban areas.

The map below shows all 891 metropolitan and micropolitan statistical areas (metro and micro areas) in the United States as defined by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB). Metro and micro areas consist of one or more socially and economically integrated adjacent counties, cities, or towns. Click on any of these areas on the map for an analysis of TRI data specific to each. The 13 highlighted in dark blue are among the most populous areas in each EPA region. Note: It may take a moment for the map to load.

Metropolitan and Micropolitan Statistical Areas


View Larger Map, Click on any one of the metro or micro areas in the map to see detailed information.

For each urban community profiled, graphs display information about:

  • the top TRI reporting industry sectors based on quantity of toxic chemicals disposed of or otherwise released;
  • trends in the disposal or other releases from 2003 to 2012; and
  • the top chemicals disposed of or otherwise released to the air, water, land, and off-site transfers.

For consistency in presenting year to year trends, only the years 2003 and later are shown. (Prior to 2003, some industry sectors and chemicals were added to the TRI reporting requirements. Also note that reporting was required for 16 new chemicals in 2011 and one new chemical in 2012, and data for these 17 chemicals have not been included in the trend charts.)

TRI Explorer, myRTK, and other online tools and resources can help you find more information on TRI-covered facilities and chemicals near you.

Note: This page was published in February of 2014 and uses the TRI National Analysis dataset made public in TRI Explorer in November of 2014