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TRI National Analysis

Barriers to Source Reduction

Facilities that did not implement new source reduction activities for a TRI chemical have the option to tell EPA about any barriers that prevented them from doing so. Analyzing the source reduction barriers reported to TRI helps identify where more research is needed, for example, to address technological challenges or promote development of viable alternatives. It may also allow for better communication between those that have knowledge of source reduction practices and those that are seeking additional help. This figure shows the types of barriers that facilities reported for metals and for all other (non-metal) TRI chemicals.


Note: Facilities report barriers to source reduction by selecting from nine codes. These codes are defined in the TRI Reporting Forms and Instructions.

From 2015 to 2019:

  • Facilities reported barriers to source reduction for 321 chemicals and chemical categories.
  • While no known substitutes was the most frequently reported barrier for both metals and non-metals, it accounted for almost half (48%) of the barriers reported for metals but made up a smaller portion (37%) of barriers reported for non-metals.
  • For the no known substitutes barrier for metals, many facilities reported the presence of the TRI metal in their raw materials (e.g., metal alloys) as the reason they did not implement source reduction activities. Examples include:
  • Further source reduction not feasible was the next most commonly reported barrier for both metals and non-metals. Facilities select this barrier code when additional reductions do not appear feasible. For example:
    • A powder metallurgy part manufacturing facility previously implemented practices to minimize the use of bulk ammonia in furnace operations. The facility reported that further source reduction is not feasible because the alternative to ammonia requires the storage of hydrogen gas, an extremely flammable material. [Click to view facility details in the TRI P2 Search Tool]
  • You can view source reduction barriers for any TRI chemical by using the TRI P2 Search Tool.

This page was published in January 2021 and uses the 2019 TRI National Analysis dataset made public in TRI Explorer in October 2020.

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