• Materials Managed on Land Typify Mining TRI Releases; Reflect Increased Demand for Metals

Materials Managed on Land Typify Mining TRI Releases; Reflect Increased Demand for Metals

The following information was provided today by the National Mining Association (NMA) upon release by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) of its Toxics Release Inventory (TRI) National Analysis for calendar year 2010, including reports from metals mines (SIC Code 10) and primary metals (SIC Code 33, smelters and refineries):



“Mining operations continue to represent a minor percentage of the total releases to air and surface waters covered in the TRI reports. This has been a consistent feature of mining’s reports over the 13 years mining operations have been included in TRI.

“Nearly all—85 to 99 percent (by volume)—of the substances reported by mining operations occur naturally in the local rock and soil and remain in low concentrations in the large amount of material handled and managed at specially designed on-site facilities permitted and regulated by state and federal laws. Because these naturally occurring trace amounts are covered by TRI, mining operations make up a large portion of the releases to land for on-site management that were reported by all operations in 2010.

“Due to increased demand for U.S. metals resulting from worldwide economic recovery that was most evident in 2010, the volume of on-site land-managed materials reported by mining also increased over 2009. Moreover, the level of natural mineralization in the ore bodies mined also greatly influenced the volume of materials reported by mining. Demonstrative of the increased demand for U.S. metals in 2010, more than 4,000 new jobs were added at domestic metals mines between June 2010 and June 2011.

“TRI is a weight-based report covering nearly 650 chemicals and substances and is not intended to evaluate risk. Health, safety and environmental protection at mining operations and community-related impacts are governed by other local, state and federal requirements.””

Additional information is available at http://www.epa.gov/tri/