Release of toxic chemicals declined in 2011-12

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WASHINGTON — Total releases of toxic chemicals declined 12 percent between 2011 and 2012, according to the most recent Toxics Release Inventory released by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

The U.S. disposed of or otherwise released 3.63 billion pounds of toxic chemicals in the air, water or soil in 2012, according to the TRI report issued Feb. 4.

The decrease for 2012 included a drop of 8 percent in total toxic air releases, largely due to reductions in hazardous air pollutant emissions, the EPA said.

Emissions of HAPs such as hydrochloric acid and mercury were down in 2012, reflecting a long-term trend, the agency said. Toxic releases into surface water decreased 3 percent in 2012, and releases into land fell 16 percent, the agency said.