Improvements since 2000 in Travis County are largely due to air emission regulations leading to reductions. The large releases in Travis County in 2000 were primarily copper compounds.
See Air Quality (p. 88) for detail of on-site air releases in Hays and Bastrop counties.
The Toxic Release Inventory tracks carcinogenic chemicals.
The bulk of releases in Williamson and Travis Counties were styrene, a by-product of high-tech related manufacturing; these releases have slowly decreased since 2003.
The recent increases in Bastrop were solely attributable to releases of lead.
Toxic Releases 2011
The map shows locations of facilities that release or manage hazardous and non-hazardous waste, as well as old landfills closed prior to development activity in an area. While facilities that hold permits and report hazardous air emissions are spread across the region, there are clusters in East Austin and around traditional industrial areas.
Many cities and towns in Central Texas provide or contract for recycling services or host recycling drop-off centers.
Most hazardous material generation is related to industrial processes. In Central Texas, brick manufacturing in Elgin, petroleum activities in Luling, and electronics manufacturing in Travis County are the main point sources for hazardous waste.
All chemicals listed in the Toxic Release Inventory have documented negative health effects on humans, yet regional or local documentation of the effects of prevalent chemicals is lacking.