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The latest on industrial waste in the Denver metro – Denver, Colorado

Denver, Colorado 2021-02-08 12:09:55 –

Last month, the Environmental Protection Agency dropped its latest overview. Toxics release inventory (TRI) Program. A dataset is a clearing house for waste generated on industrial land nationwide, both intentionally and accidentally. The 2019 numbers will actually be released last fall, and the 2020 numbers will not be released until next fall.But New report It gave me the opportunity to see data on microlocal pollution.

The numbers are complicated. For one thing, they do not necessarily reflect the pollution that invades the environment around these sites. An important part of what the EPA tracks is that it is shipped to landfills or recycled. Analyze some of this information to explore the following chemicals: is Released onsite.

Another caveat: These numbers represent the amount of waste produced, but are not intended to convey a health risk. Our analysis encapsulates reports from 88 sites in the city, and the data includes 73 chemicals produced in both normal industrial processes and unplanned “one-off releases.” is included. Some chemicals are bad for you, but others are less worried. The potential health effects depend on the location and concentration of these chemicals when they were produced and when they were actually produced.

Let’s start with the big picture: What does EPA’s new report say about the metro and the wider area?

Colorado belongs to EPA’s “Region 8”, which includes Montana, Dakotas, Wyoming, and Utah. The amount of waste generated in this area is decreasing.. Data for these states are dominated by metal mines that produce large amounts of by-products.

The EPA website contains data specific to what is called a “”.Denver-Aurora-LakewoodAn area extending from the hills to the eastern plains. The two largest waste producers in the region are at the eastern and western ends of the region. An imperial molybdenum mine and deer trail hazardous waste purification company. As with Region 8 as a whole, data on toxic waste in the region is strongly influenced by some important sites.

Source: EPA

According to the EPA, over £ 32 million of industrial waste was recycled, treated, recovered, disposed of or released in the Denver-Aurora-Lakewood region in 2019. This is over 2018, but low compared to other years in the last decade.

210207-TRI-EPA-TOTALS

Source: EPA

The same trend was followed for on-site waste such as landfills, air and water. The 2019 total increased from 2018, but was still lower than the data reported in 2009-2015. Chemicals released into the atmosphere in the region were lower in 2019 than at any point in the last decade.

210207-TRI-EPA-ON-SITE

Source: EPA

Now let’s drill down to the metro level.

To really understand what’s happening in town, I chose a site inside or just ahead of the I-470 Beltway around Denver. It’s a bit arbitrary, but I felt this was a good boundary to exclude irrelevant operations.

210207-DEN-TRI-SITES

Data source: EPA

The total pounds of industrial waste generated at these sites follow other trends reported by the EPA for Denver-Aurora-Lakewood. The numbers from 2019 were higher than in 2018, but both 2019 and 2018 were lower than the previous year.

210207-Total-Tri-Pound

Data source: EPA

However, unlike the wider subregions, the industrial activities we analyzed did not report the number of pounds of chemicals released into the atmosphere onsite in 2019. In fact, 2019 has seen the highest atmospheric emissions in the last five years. On the other hand, the release into water was the lowest since 2015.

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Data source: EPA

Again, it’s important to remember that these numbers do not indicate any health effects. Andrew Bear, a spokesman for the Colorado Department of Public Health and the Environment, said industrial activities could report more air emissions due to the deliberate dilution of chemicals. They may increase emissions to reduce the concentration of certain chemicals, especially to reduce their potential for harm.

Zoom in further to see which sites are the most wasteful.

Let’s start with “production waste”. It states that EPA is the total weight of solids, liquids, and gases produced as part of an industrial process. Remember that some of this is trucked to landfills, some are recycled and some are released into air and water. Below are the five facilities that generated the most waste as part of normal operation in 2019 and the figures for the last four years.

Top producer Veolia North American handles and stores chemicals. The second largest, Suncor Energy, is the only oil refinery in the state. Behind it is the Ball Metal Beverage Container Corp, which manufactures glass bottles, which recently acquired the naming rights for the arena. Formerly known as the Pepsi Center.. Close fourth, Rocky Mountain Metal Container Can Coors Beer and other Molson Coors products.Finally, Terumo BCT sterilization service processes medical devices of international companies that manufacture Cell and blood therapy..

210207-tri-prodcolumns

Data source: EPA

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Data source: EPA

Next, let’s take a look at the sites that reported the most atmospheric releases in 2019. These numbers are the sum of the two columns of EPA’s TRI data. “Temporary” atmospheric emissions and “stack” atmospheric emissions. “Stack” air is a large amount of material released from the chimney and ventilation system, CSU associate professor Howard Ramsdel told us. On the other hand, “fugitive” emissions can be considered air pollution emitted through windows. Ramsdel said the choice to pipe emissions from the chimney was primarily to protect workers. If a company decides to install a system that captures “temporary” emissions, those releases will be transferred to the “stack” column. These columns were added together to show the total weight of chemicals released into the atmosphere at each site.

210207-Tri-air column

Data source: EPA

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Data source: EPA

Next is the on-site release into the water. Five companies reported these figures in 2019. The three companies said they released less than a pound of chemicals, so they didn’t show up on the charts.

210207-Three water columns

Data source: EPA

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Data source: EPA

We also looked at the total pounds of chemicals produced in the “one-time release” reported by the company in 2019. According to the EPA, these numbers represent waste that is “not related to the normal manufacturing process.” A one-time release is basically the flip side of “production waste” and is expected in the normal business process. According to CDPHE Bear, companies could report waste generated as a result of an emergency shutoff, such as when a “catastrophic event such as an earthquake, fire, or flood” disrupts an industrial process during execution. It is said that there is.

The Suncor Refinery has recently hosted some memorable “one-off” events. For example, in 2016, a yellow plume of ceramic material rose from the chimney. After the process had to be shut down in the middle of execution.. Suncor is also the only company in our field of study to report a one-time release each year over the last five years.

Three facilities reported a one-time release in 2019. One of them, Colorado Salt Products LLC, reported £ 17.6 in 2019. This was so small that I decided to exclude it from the chart.

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Data source: EPA

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Data source: EPA

Let’s take a look at these sites in a national context.

To create these next maps, water, air, one-off emissions, and production waste were totaled to determine the total weight of each category for each facility. Perform local results nationwide, Many More context. For example, when it comes to the emissions released into the local atmosphere, we found that no local business ranks higher than any company in the country.

Again, this data does not consider health risks. And, repeating Bear’s previous remarks on concentrated chemicals, facilities that reported low weights of chemicals released into the atmosphere could be one of the most dangerous.

Mapped points range from £ 442,000 onsite air release to £ 19 million.

Data source: EPA

As for water, this national look has also excluded all our local sites. The only location in Colorado on this map is the Cargill Meat Mill in Fort Morgan.

Mapped points range from £ 300,000 onsite water discharge to £ 16.7 million.

Data source: EPA

A few sites across the country appear in the top three slots of one-off releases that occur outside the normal production process. Univar USA, a chemical plant on Holly Street in Northeast Park Hill, cut this map with £ 25,170 of waste.

Mapped points range from £ 17,000 of material created in a one-time release to £ 600,000.

Data source: EPA

Finally, many of our local sites are on par with facilities across the country when it comes to the total pounds of industrial waste generated as part of normal operation.

Mapped points range from £ 1,000 to £ 3 billion generated by normal industrial processes.

Data source: EPA

The latest on industrial waste in the Denver metro Source link The latest on industrial waste in the Denver metro

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