Toxics Release Inventory

The EPA requires industries and utilities to report on the release of 650 chemicals it defines as harmful to human health. Because of its efforts to prevent and reduce pollution, TVA only releases 23 of these in amounts large enough to require reporting.

This  Environmental Protection Agency requirement is called the Toxics Release Inventory (TRI). TVA files annual reports on the amounts of TRI chemicals released by its fossil-fuel plants (those that burn coal or oil). Only 23 of the substances on the TRI list are emitted by TVA plants in quantities large enough to require reporting.

The TRI doesn't include sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxides, which all fossil plants emit and monitor routinely. Since 1977, TVA has reduced its sulfur dioxide emissions by 95 percent. Nitrogen oxide emissions have been reduced 91 percent since 1995.

As a federal agency, TVA must report TRI releases from all of its operations, not just its fossil plants. Although the amounts are small, the emissions numbers TVA submits are comprehensive and include substances that might be used for cleaning or maintenance activities at any TVA facilities, including nuclear or hydro plants. Only federal facilities must include TRI data from of their operations, not just coal- or oil-burning plants. Private utilities are not covered under this requirement.

TVA’s total coal and gas TRI releases for 2015 were 24,510,620, down from the 2014 level of 26,187,519 pounds.

2015 data for coal and gas operations

All amounts are in pounds

Chemical / Chemical
Category
Air Water Land Off-Site
Disposal
Total
Hydrochloric Acid (aerosol) 4,248,000 0 0 0 4,248,000
Hydrogen Fluoride 527,700 0 0 0 527,700
Sulfuric Acid (aerosol) 7,487,008 0 0 0 7,487,008
Ammonia 842,014 16,109 0 0 858,123
Antimony Compounds          
Arsenic Compounds 1,145 1,040 153,702 234 156,121
Barium Compounds 9,806 55,707 6,347,000 9,630 6,422,143
Beryllium Compounds 63 0 21,632 0 21,695
Cadmium Compounds          
Chromium Compounds 1,915 724 293,606 394 296,639
Cobalt Compounds 207 0 38,610 0 38,817
Copper Compounds 1,812 49,901 387,325 393 432,932
Lead Compounds 1,737 133 304,953 575 307,398
Manganese Compounds 3,465 11,831 797,300 620 813,216
Mercury Compounds 767 128 1,507 10 2,412
Nickel Compounds 1,751 5,194 300,736 366 308,047
Selenium Compounds 7,502 8,500 15,080 1 31,083
Silver Compounds          
Thallium Compounds 87 0 83,460 0 83,547
Vanadium Compounds 2,547 27,543 775,200 760 806,050
Zinc Compounds 18,848 21,922 924,600 990 966,360
Benzo(g,h,i)perylene 2 0 1 0 3
Naphthalene 223 0 0 0 223
Nitrate Compounds 0 703,000 0 0 703,000
Dioxin (grams) 10 0 0 0 10
Polycyclic Aromatic Compounds 43 0 61 2 103
Hydrazine          
Total 13,156,641 895,233 10,444,773 13,973 24,510,620

Total Gross MWh Generated:    157,626,257

Pounds Released per MWh:    0.155