Environmental Protection Agency
Text Version of TRI Explorer Step-by-Step Tutorials

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Welcome

Welcome to the TRI Explorer online tutorial. This tutorial is designed to teach you how to use the TRI Explorer to answer environmental questions. You can use the TRI Explorer to access data reported to the Toxics Release Inventory (TRI) and identify facilities and chemical disposal or other release patterns that warrant further study and analysis. Combined with hazard and exposure information, the TRI Explorer can be a valuable tool for risk identification. The online tutorial is intended for all users of the TRI Explorer including environmental groups, researchers, concerned citizens, members of industry, and government officials.

This tutorial is divided into two parts:

  1. Assisted navigation tutorials are presented in this transcript. These tutorials provide you with step-by-step instructions on how to answer specific questions. They are intended for data users who are comfortable using the TRI Explorer interface.
  2. A demonstration of how to use the TRI Explorer is presented in another transcript that can also be accessed from the title screen. This demo will introduce you to all of the functionalities of the TRI Explorer. It is meant for users who are unfamiliar with the TRI Explorer’s interface.
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Introduction

This transcript presents step-by-step instructions for answering nine frequently-asked questions using the TRI Explorer. The questions are:

  1. What facilities handle and release toxic chemicals in my neighborhood?
    1. I live in ZIP code XXXXX, what facilities that handle and release toxic chemicals are nearby?
    2. What chemicals do these facilities handle and release?
    3. Are there any releases of persistent bioaccumulative toxic (PBT), metals, carcinogens or hazardous air pollutants (HAPs)?
  2. How do the releases from facilities in my neighborhood compare to releases from facilities in other areas?
    1. How does my ZIP code compare to other ZIP codes in terms of overall chemical releases?
    2. How does my county compare to other counties in my state, in terms of overall chemical releases?
    3. How does my state compare to other states in the US, in terms of overall chemical releases?
  3. What are the trends for toxic chemical releases in my neighborhood?
    1. Have releases of toxic chemicals to the air, land, and water in my ZIP code increased or decreased since year 2001?
    2. Have releases of toxic chemicals to the air, land, and water in my ZIP code increased or decreased since year 1988?
    3. Have releases of a chemical to the air, land, and water in my ZIP code increased or decreased since year 2001?
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I live in ZIP code XXXXX, what facilities that handle and release toxic chemicals are nearby?
  1. Open TRI Explorer in a Web Browser: go to https://www.epa.gov/triexplorer/
  2. Under Reports, select Facility.
  3. Under Geographic Location, click the down arrow and then select Enter a ZIP Code. A ZIP Code box will appear.
  4. Enter your ZIP code into the ZIP Code box.
  5. Click on the Generate Report button.
  6. TRI Explorer will display a report in the form of a table. It lists all facilities in the ZIP Code, the chemicals each facility reported releasing, and reported releases for those chemicals. More info
  7. Scroll to the bottom of your report, click Download, and save the report to your computer. Show Me
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What chemicals do these facilities handle and release?
  1. Open TRI Explorer in a Web Browser: go to https://www.epa.gov/triexplorer/
  2. Under Reports, select Chemical.
  3. Under Geographic Location, click the down arrow and then select Enter a ZIP Code. A ZIP Code box will appear.
  4. Enter your ZIP code into the ZIP Code box.
  5. Click on the Generate Report button.
  6. TRI Explorer will display a report in the form of a table. It lists all chemicals reported by facilities in the ZIP Code, and reported releases for those chemicals. More info
  7. Scroll to the bottom of your report, click Download, and save the report to your computer. Show Me
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Are there any releases of persistent bioaccumulative toxic (PBT), metals, carcinogens or hazardous air pollutants (HAPs)?
  1. Click the Go To New Report button.
  2. Under Chemicals Released, select Select a chemical group (e.g., HAPs).
  3. Under Chemicals Released, select PBT Chemicals. More info
  4. Under Geographic Location, click the down arrow and then select Enter a ZIP Code. A ZIP Code box will appear.
  5. Enter your ZIP code into the ZIP Code box.
  6. Click on the Generate Report button.
  7. TRI Explorer will display a report in the form of a table. It lists all PBT chemicals reported by facilities in the ZIP Code, and reported releases for those chemicals.
  8. Scroll to the bottom of your report, click Download, and save the report to your computer. Show Me
  9. Repeat steps 1-8 for metals, carcinogens and hazardous air pollutants (HAPs). More info
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How does my ZIP code compare to other ZIP codes in terms of overall chemical releases?
  1. Click the Go To New Report button.
  2. Under Reports, select Chemical.
  3. Under Geographic Location, click the down arrow and then select Enter a ZIP Code. A ZIP Code box will appear.
  4. Enter your ZIP code into the ZIP Code box.
  5. Click on the Generate Report button.
  6. TRI Explorer will display a report in the form of a table. It lists all chemicals reported by facilities in the ZIP Code, and reported releases for those chemicals. Note the totals at the bottom of the table. More info
  7. Scroll to the bottom of your report, click Download, and save the report to your computer. Show Me
  8. Repeat steps 1-7 for other ZIP codes of interest.
  9. Compare totals in the report tables across ZIP codes.
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How does my county compare to other counties in my state, in terms of overall chemical releases?
  1. Click the Go To New Report button.
  2. Under Reports, select Geography.
  3. Under Geographic Location, click the down arrow and then click Select a state. Then select the State from the list that appears.
  4. Click on the Generate Report button.
  5. TRI Explorer will display a report in the form of a table. The table lists counties in the state with facilities that reported to TRI and their TRI reported releases.
  6. Click the blue down arrow in the Total On-site Disposal or Other Releases column to rank counties by on-site disposal or releases.
  7. Scroll to the bottom of your report, click Download, and save the report to your computer. Show Me
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How does my state compare to other states in the US, in terms of overall chemical releases?
  1. Click the Go To New Report button.
  2. Under Reports, select Geography.
  3. Under Geographic Location, click the down arrow and then select U.S. by State.
  4. Click on the Generate Report button.
  5. TRI Explorer will display a report in the form of a table. The table lists all states and their TRI reported releases.
  6. Click the blue down arrow in the Total On-site Disposal or Other Releases column to rank counties by on-site disposal or releases.
  7. Scroll to the bottom of your report, click Download, and save the report to your computer. Show Me
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Have releases of toxic chemicals to the air, land, and water in my ZIP code increased or decreased since year 2001?
  1. Click the Go To New Report button.
  2. Under Reports, select Trends.
  3. Under Geographic Location, click the down arrow and then select Enter a ZIP Code. A ZIP Code box will appear.
  4. Enter your ZIP code into the ZIP Code box.
  5. Under Chemical Released, select 2001 Core chemicals/All Chemicals. More info
  6. Under Report columns to include, uncheck all boxes except those next to Air, Water, and Land.
  7. Click on the Generate Report button.
  8. TRI Explorer will display a report in the form of a table. The table lists total reported releases for facilities in your ZIP code for every year since 2001. More info
  9. Click the green graph button in a column header to view trends graphically.
  10. Press your browser’s Back button to return to your report.
  11. Scroll to the bottom of your report, click Download, and save the report to your computer. Show Me
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Have releases of toxic chemicals to the air, land, and water in my ZIP code increased or decreased since year 1988?
  1. Click the Go To New Report button.
  2. Under Reports, select Trends.
  3. Under Geographic Location, click the down arrow and then select Enter a ZIP Code. A ZIP Code box will appear.
  4. Enter your ZIP code into the ZIP Code box.
  5. Under Chemical Released, select 1988 Core chemicals/All Chemicals. More info
  6. Under Report columns to include, uncheck all boxes except those next to Air, Water, and Land.
  7. Click on the Generate Report button.
  8. TRI Explorer will display a report in the form of a table. The table lists total reported releases for facilities in your ZIP code for every year since 1988. More info
  9. Click the green graph button in a column header to view trends graphically.
  10. Press your browser’s Back button to return to your report.
  11. Scroll to the bottom of your report, click Download, and save the report to your computer. Show Me
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Have releases of a chemical to the air, land, and water in my ZIP code increased or decreased since year 2001?
  1. Click the Go To New Report button.
  2. Under Reports, select Trends.
  3. Under Geographic Location, click the down arrow and then select Enter a ZIP Code. A ZIP Code box will appear.
  4. Enter your ZIP code into the ZIP Code box.
  5. Under Chemical Released, select a chemical of interest.
  6. Under Report columns to include, uncheck all boxes except those next to Air, Water, and Land.
  7. Click on the Generate Report button.
  8. TRI Explorer will display a report in the form of a table. The table lists total reported releases for facilities in your ZIP code for every year since 2001. More info
  9. Click the green graph button in a column header to view trends graphically.
  10. Press your browser’s Back button to return to your report.
  11. Scroll to the bottom of your report, click Download, and save the report to your computer. Show Me
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More info about toxicity and health risks

If you are interested in the toxicity and health risks associated with a specific chemical in a report, you can search for it, by name, in EPA’s Integrated Risk Information System: https://www.epa.gov/ncea/iris/search_keyword.htm or in the Agency for Toxic Substances & Disease Registry’s ToxFAQs web site: http://www.atsdr.cdc.gov/toxfaq.html

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More info about five special chemical groups you can generate reports for

TRI Explorer allows you to generate reports for five special chemical groups:

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More info about core chemicals

EPA has made chemical list changes through the chemical petitions process and EPA-initiated review, therefore, the TRI list of reportable toxic chemicals can vary from year to year. To account for variation in the chemical list between years, TRI Explorer provides you the option of selecting a core chemical list which includes chemicals that have been reported in every year since the year denoted on the list. For example, when you select 1988 Core Chemicals, TRI Explorer will generate a report limited to chemicals that have been reportable to TRI in every year between 1988 and the most current reporting year. For trend reports, the earliest year TRI Explorer will display is the first year that chemical group was reportable to TRI. For a list of changes made to the TRI chemical list, see EPA’s TRI program web site: https://www.epa.gov/tri/chemical/list%20changes/ChemListChanges05.pdf

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More info about changes in reporting requirements

Some TRI reporting requirements have changed over time. Since the program began, new industries have been required to report, chemicals have been added or removed from the list of TRI reportable chemicals, and reporting thresholds have changed for some chemicals. These changes may affect the comparability of information presented in trend reports between years. For a description of how these changes may affect trends in TRI reporting, click on the link just above the report table titled "Are year to year changes comparable?"

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Downloading TRI Explorer Reports
You can download TRI Explorer Reports to your computer as comma separated values (CSV) files. These files may be viewed and manipulated with common spreadsheet and statistics software.

To download a TRI Explorer Report to your computer:
  1. Generate a report in TRI Explorer.
  2. Scroll down until you see the Download button.
  3. Click the Download button.
  4. A pop-up will appear asking if you want to save the CSV file.
  5. Click Save to save the report to your computer.
  6. Save As pop-up will appear.
  7. Select the folder where you would like to save the report and press Save.
  8. When the file is finished downloading, a pop-up will appear.
  9. Click Open to view the report.
  10. The file will then open in the default program for CSV files on your computer. In many cases, this will be Microsoft Excel. When you open the file, you should see the information provided by in the report from TRI Explorer.
  11. If you would like to further manipulate the data in this report using Excel, save the file with a .xls extention:
  12. In Excel, click File > Save As…
  13. A Save As pop-up will appear.
  14. Under Save as type:, select the file type with the .xls extension for the most recent version of Excel on your computer.
  15. Press Save.
  16. You can now use the file like a typical Excel workbook.
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