Glossary of Terms - Toxics Release Inventory


33/50 Program: A voluntary pollution prevention initiative developed by EPA which consisted of the reduction of releases and off-site transfer of a targeted set of 17 chemicals. The program anticipated reductions of 33% by 1992 and 50% by 1995.

Acid Regeneration: Those acid pickling operations that include processes for regenerating acid solutions.

Active Ingredient: Any substance (or group of structurally similar substances if specified by the Agency) that will prevent, destroy, repel or mitigate any pest, or that functions as a plant regulator, desiccant, or defoliant within the meaning of FIFRA (Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act).

Acute Toxicity: Effects resulting from short term exposure at generally high concentrations.

Acute Lethal Toxicity: The effect (lethal=death) produced on an organism within a short period of time or exposure to a chemical.

Ambient Air: That portion of the atmosphere, external to buildings, to which the general public has access.

Application Farming: Process of applying a chemical, such as a pesticide, to a field; process in which a waste containing a listed chemical is applied to or incorporated into soil.

Atmospheric Deposition: The process by which particles suspended in the air are deposited by precipitation or wind in the ocean, rivers, or on land.

Bio-accumulation:The accumulation of a substance by an organism, in concentrations greater than are present in the external environment.

Biological Treatment: Method using bacteria and other simple organisms to treat waste material. Toxic chemicals may be decomposed into less toxic or non-toxic chemicals, may be absorbed by organic matter produced by bacteria or may pass through unchanged.

Bio-magnification:The process whereby a certain material becomes more concentrated as it moves up the food chain.

Boilers:An enclosed vessel in which water is heated and circulated, either as hot water or steam, for heating or power.

Carcinogen:Any substance that can cause or contribute to the production of cancer.

CAS Number: A unique identifying number assigned to chemicals by the Chemical Abstracts Service.

Chronic Toxicity: Toxic effects resulting generally from long term exposure at low doses.

Combined Risk: The joining of all factors which comprise the possibility of developing an illness.

Compliance Plans: Plans required under the Louisiana Air Toxic Regulations from major sources of air toxic pollutants to reduce and control their air emissions.

Congenital Abnormality: A physiological or structural abnormality which exists from birth.

Corrosive:The ability to produce gradual erosion by chemical reaction.

Cumulative Risk: Evaluation of the combined risk of contracting cancer from exposure to multiple chemical compounds.

Conditionally Exempt Small Quantity Generators: Generators who produce less than 220 lbs. of hazardous waste per month. These generators are exempt from certain provisions of the Clean Air Act Generators of 1990.

Chronic Health Effects: Long term illnesses which are associated with repeated exposure to a chemical over an extended period of time.

Dermal Contact: Exposure of skin to toxic materials.

Direct Discharge: Point source discharge at the end of a pipe into an environmental medium.

Dispersion:The physical process by which pollutants are mixed with unpolluted ambient air, surface or ground water which results in a lower concentration of pollutants.

Disposal:The discharge, deposit, injection, dumping, spilling, leaking, or placing of any solid waste or hazardous waste into or on any land or water, so that such solid waste or any constituent thereof may not enter the environment.

Dose:Refers to the amount of chemical that enters the body.

Effluent:Wastewater discharge to the surface waters of the state.

Effluent Limitation: Any applicable state or federal quality or quantity limitation that imposes any restriction or prohibition on quantities, discharge rates, and concentrations of pollutants discharged into the surface waters of the state.

Elemental Mercury: Nonreacted metallic form of mercury.

Emission Factors: Published estimates based on the average measured emissions at several facilities in the same industry for the same general type of industrial process. Emission factors usually express releases as a ratio of amount released to process/equipment output.

Energy Recovery: Recovery of useful material or energy from hazardous or municipal waste.

Engineering Judgment: Opinion based on evaluation of all pertinent data as would be determined by a properly trained engineer.

Enhanced Inspection and Maintenance Program: Enhanced equipment performance and upkeep standards as promulgated and Maintenance under the amendments of the Clean Air Act of 1990.

Environmental Justice: The equitable treatment of all people, regardless of race, income, culture, or social class, with respect to the development, implementation, and enforcement of environmental laws, regulations, and policies.

Estuary:A semi-enclosed body of water that has connection to the open sea and in which water from the ocean is diluted by fresh water inflows.

Exposure:The act or an instance in which a chemical comes in contact with an organism by crossing biological barriers, and entering the body.

Facility:Defined for the purposes of TRI reporting as all buildings, equipment, structures, and other stationary items which are located on a single site or on contiguous or adjacent sites and which are owned or operated by the same person.

 Fugitive Emissions: Air emissions which are not released through stacks, vents, ducts, pipes, or any other confined air steam. Examples are equipment leaks or evaporation from surface impoundments and spills and releases from building venting systems.

Generic Chemical Name: Name used in lieu of the specific chemical identity of the toxic chemical in the event that the chemical name is a trade secret. Name is entered in section 1.3 of TRI and must be a description of the chemical structure.

Ground Water: Water in a saturated zone or stratum beneath the surface of land or water.

Habitat:The place and its environmental characteristics in which individuals of a particular species, or group of species can usually be found.

Incineration:The destruction of solid, liquid, or gaseous wastes by burning.

Industrial Furnaces: An enclosed structure, used in industry, in which heat is produced for manufacturing or incineration purposes.

Infectious Character: Capability of causing or transmitting infection.

Inventories:Lists of chemical substances manufactured or processed in the United States that EPA compiles and keeps current.

Kilns:A heated enclosure (as an oven) for processing a substance by firing, hardening, burning or drying.

Known Carcinogens: Substances which have been demonstrated to cause or contribute to the production of cancer.

Land Treatment: A facility or part of a facility at which hazardous waste is applied onto or incorporated into the soil surface.

Landfill:A disposal facility or part of a facility where non-hazardous waste is placed in/on the land, carefully lined and monitored, for containment.

Lower Mississippi River Corridor: The heavily industrialized area between Baton Rouge and New Orleans River Corridor containing over 85 major chemical and petro chemical industries.

Major Source: Any stationary source or any group of stationary sources that are located on one or more contiguous or adjacent properties, that are under control of the same person (or persons under common control), and (1) that are described as a major source under section 112 of the Clean Air Act, which includes sources that emit or have the potential to emit, any hazardous air pollutant which has been listed pursuant to section 112 of the Clean Air Act and are considered as being out of compliance with federal regulations.

Manufacture:To make or process (a raw material) into a finished product, esp. by a large-scale industrial operation.

Mass Balance: Emission calculations relating to an entire industrial process or piece of process equipment where the amount of reactants equals the amount of the resulting product in a chemical reaction with any loss or difference can be accounted for as by-product chemicals in the wastestream or by calculating the input/output difference.

Maximum Achievable Control Technology: Engineering-based emissions standards, whose establishment is mandated Control Technology by the Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990, which must be set for 189 (MACT) hazardous air pollutants over a ten-year period.

Media:The surrounding environment (air, water, etc.) in which something exists.

Metallic Mercury: The elemental form of mercury.

Metals Recovery: Pollution Prevention Technology which retrieves metals from wastestreams for reuse.

Methylated Mercury: Mercury which has been combined with one carbon and three hydrogen atoms through biological processes; methylated mercury is more readily bioaccumulated by organisms than elemental mercury.

Mobile Sources: Any moving entity, rolling stock, or other means of transportation which contains or carries a reportable quantity of a hazardous substance.

Mutagenic (mutagen): The property of a substance or mixture of substances to induce changes in the genetic complement of either somatic or embryonic tissue in subsequent generations.

Neutralization:The reaction of an acid and a base to produce a salt and water. Mineral acids which have been neutralized prior to release or transfer are to be reported to TRI as zero release or transfer.

Non-attainment Area: An area (parish or group of parishes) declared by an administrative authority to be not in compliance with a Federal National Ambient Air Quality Standard and listed in the Federal Register as a non-attainment area.

Off-site Transfers: Chemical wastes transported off-site to commercial facilities that store, treat, or dispose of wastes. Off-site facilities might be owned by the reporting facility or its parent company, or they may be separate enterprises such as incinerators, privately-owned wastewater treatment facilities, landfills, or facilities which process and re-sell such chemicals, such as recycling facilities or waste brokers.

On-site Waste: Unusable chemical waste located at the producing facility.

Persistent Polychlorinated Compounds: Those polychlorinated compounds that are not very active and that degrade very slowly and therefore have a very long residence time.

Persistence:The amount of time that a chemical remains in the environment. A chemical may persist for less than a second or indefinitely.

Petroleum Distillates: Fractions of crude oil recovered from distillations which produce a lighter petroleum fractions that can be used as a fuel. Examples of petroleum distillates include: Kerosene, diesel fuel.

Pollution Prevention Act of 1990: Act that requires manufacturing facilities which already report under Section 313 of the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act to report source reduction and recycling information.

Priority Pollutant:Any substance listed on EPA's list of 126 pollutants or group of pollutants which are or may be toxic; these include both organic compounds and metals.


Process:The preparation of a chemical for manufacture and distribution in commerce: (1) in the same form or physical state as, or in a different form or physical state from, that in which it was received by the person so preparing such substance, or (2) as part of an article containing the toxic chemical. Process also applies to the processing of a toxic chemical contained in a mixture or trade name product.

Process Modification: Adjustment in manufacturing process to achieve reduction of pollution.

Production Index: As applied to TRI reporting of waste minimization, a ratio of reporting-year production to the prior reporting-year production. The index is calculated to most closely reflect activities involving the chemical being reported on the Form R.

Public Health Advisory: Warnings issued for public notice when there is a health hazard in the environment. In Louisiana Health Advisories are issued by the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals and in some cases the advisories are issued jointly with the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries and the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality.

Publicly Owned Treatment Works (POTWs): A wastewater treatment works that is owned by a state or municipality including any devices used in the storage, treatment, recycling, and (P.O.T.W) reclamation of domestic sewerage or a combination of domestic sewerage and industrial wastewaters. It also includes sewers, pipes, and other conveyances that carry wastewater to such a treatment works. The term also refers to the authority that has jurisdiction over discharges to and from such a treatment works.

Quality Assurance/ Quality Control: The ability to prove to clients that the systems used to generate data are under control and that they fully incorporate the necessary quality control measures.

Release:The annual quantities (in pounds) of the TRI chemical in wastes released on site to air, water, underground injection, or land.

Recycle:To use again, especially to reprocess so as to use again. To recondition and adapt to a new use or function.

Reportable Limits: The amount that triggers release notification reporting under CERCLA Quantity (RQ) and EPCRA.

Reportable Toxic Chemical: A chemical which, if processed or manufactured in excess of reportable Chemical limits, requires completion of a Toxic Release Inventory Form R.

SIC Code: Standard Industrial Classification code: a number developed by the U.S. Office of Management and Budget to identify industrial sectors. The first two digits identify the broad industrial sector (such as SIC code 20, Food and Kindred Products) and the last two digits represent a facility's specialty within this broad sector (such as SIC code 2047, dog and cat food).

Solvent:1) Capable of dissolving another substance; 2) The component of a solution that is present in excess or that undergoes no change of state.

Solvent Recovery: An air pollution control system by which volatile organic compound (VOC) solvent vapors in air or other gases are captured and directed through a condenser(s) carbon or other absorbents. For the condensation method, the solvent is recovered directly from the condenser. For the adsorption method, the vapors are absorbed, then desorbed by steam or other media, and finally condensed and recovered.

Source Reduction: Industrial source reduction is defined in the Pollution Prevention Act of 1990 as "any practice which 1) reduces the amount of any hazardous substance, pollutant, or contaminant entering any wastestream or otherwise released into the environment (including fugitive emissions) prior to recycling, treatment, or disposal; and 2) reduces the hazards to public health and the environment associated with the release of such substances, pollutants, or contaminants. The term includes equipment or technology modifications, process or procedure modifications, reformulation or redesign of products, substitution of raw materials, and improvements in housekeeping, maintenance, training, or inventory control".

Stack Emissions: The particulate matter and vapors captured and released to the atmosphere through a stack, chimney, or flue.

Supplemental Environmental Projects: Significant pro-environmental activities undertaken by violators of environmental laws in lieu of fines which are calculated to recover any economic benefits that occurred due to the noncompliance activity.(also referred to as SEPs)

Surface Impoundment: A natural topographic depression, man-made excavation, or diked area formed primarily of earthen materials (although it may be lined with man-made materials), which is designed to hold an accumulation of liquid wastes containing free liquids, and which is not an injection well. Examples of surface impoundments are holding, storage, settling, and aeration pits, ponds, and lagoons.

Surface Water: All lakes, bays, rivers, streams, springs, ponds, impounding reservoirs, wetlands, swamps, marshes, water sources, drainage systems, and other surface waters, natural or artificial, public or private, within the state or under its jurisdiction that are not a part of a treatment system allowed by state law, regulation, or permit.

Teratogenic (Teratogen): The property of a substance or mixture of substances to produce or induce (Teratogen) functional deviations or developmental anomalies, not heritable, in or on an animal embryo or fetus.

Threshold Quantities: The amount of each of the toxic chemicals which, if present at the facility, triggers participation in the TRI.

Total Releases: The aggregate total in pounds of all TRI chemicals in wastes released on site to air, water, underground injection, or land.

Total Transfers: The aggregate total in pounds of all TRI chemicals in wastes which are sent to POTWs and other off-site locations for treatment, storage, and/or disposal.

Toxicity:The quality or degree of being poisonous or harmful to plant or animal life.

Trade Secret: Any confidential formula, pattern, process, device, information, or compilation of information that is used in a submitter's business, and that gives the submitter an opportunity to obtain an advantage over competitors who do not know or use it.

Treatment:Any method, technique, or process, including neutralization, designed to change the physical or chemical character or composition of any hazardous waste so as to neutralize such waste or so as to render such waste nonhazardous, safer for transport, amenable for recovery, amenable for storage, or reduced in volume. Such terms includes any activity or processing designed to change the physical form or chemical composition of hazardous waste so as to render it nonhazardous.

Underground Injection: Disposal method by which chemical wastes are injectedor pumbed into deep underground wells, requiring special geological conditions in order to prevent contamination of groundwater. (also referred to as Deepwell Injection)

Volatile Organic Compound: Chemical substances containing hydrocarbons (hydrogen and carbon atoms) which evaporate into the atmosphere. EPA has limited the definition to those organic compounds which participate in atmospheric photochemical reactions to produce ozone and ozone precursors.

Waste Minimization: For the purpose of TRI reporting, facility activities including the reduction of waste generation and recycling. This can be accomplished by equipment changes, process modification, product reformulation, chemical substitutions, or other techniques.

Waste Stream: Any waste discharged from a facility.

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