Toxic Release Inventory

JEA’s environmental performance meets or exceeds all federal, state and local emission requirements. In 1998, the EPA released a report on its assessment of risk associated with living near power plants. The report placed the risk at very low. It further stated that the risk assessment methods used were conservative and thus tend to overestimate risk.

Toxic Release Inventory Reports 

The Toxic Release Inventory (TRI) is a key component of the Emergency Preparedness and Community-Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA) which was signed into law in 1986. Each year since 1987, more than 23,000 companies have filed TRI reports on their total emissions of more than 600 different chemicals. TRI reports are filed with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

For more than 100 years, JEA has been operating at numerous locations within our community and has never had a chemical release large enough to harm any of our neighbors or customers. JEA is committed to continuing this excellent safety record.

A listed substance must be measured for a year and reported if the amount manufactured, processed or used exceeds specific threshold amounts. If this threshold is exceeded, the amount released to land, water and air must be reported. The definition of “released” in right-to-know legislation is very broad. Some examples:

  • All emissions that meet TRI levels must be reported, even if they are permitted by environmental agencies or other regulations or legislation. Substances collected and eliminated in pollution control and treatment processes within a facility, even if they are never released or transferred into the environment outside a facility.
  • Substances present in byproducts such as ash, gas and fine particles that are transported away from a facility for disposal, treatment, recycling or energy recovery to another facility, even if they are not released into the environment.
  • Substances present in byproducts that are collected for reuse, recycling or disposal within a facility. Even if a substance is collected and reused over and over again, it must be measured and reported each time it is released during the process. 

Byproducts and Elements from Power Plants

Your electricity is generated by fossil fuels. JEA burns fuel to create heat, which generates steam that is used to power a turbine. The turbine powers a generator, which spins a coil of wire surrounded by a magnetic field to create electricity. Byproducts created by fossil fuels include ash, gases and fine particles. These byproducts contain naturally occurring elements that are found in fossil fuels, as well as other compounds that are listed as reportable substances in the right-to-know legislation.

Substances Included in the Toxic Inventory Report

  • Elements such as barium, copper, beryllium, lead, nickel, zinc, arsenic, chromium, cobalt, manganese and selenium. These naturally occurring elements are released in byproducts such as ash and fine particles when fuel is burned. Some, such as copper and nickel, may also be released in cooling water.
  • Hydrogen fluoride, hydrochloric acid and sulfuric acid, which are created when fuel interacts with other compounds during combustion and are released as aerosols.
  • Compounds such as chlorine and ammonia that are otherwise used in a power plant to clean and maintain equipment. These compounds are also found in common household cleaning products.
  • Mercury, present in coal and oil, is usually released as a gas during combustion.
  • Other byproducts created during the generation of electricity, but not included in TRI reports, are: sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxide and carbon dioxide. These compounds also are released when you drive your car or use a barbecue or fireplace. Florida's electric utilities have been monitoring, reporting and controlling these substances for 25 years under other federal and state legislation.

Additional Resources and Agency Contacts

Explore Solutions and Save

Learn about all the ways JEA helps Northeast Florida families, businesses and our community thrive and how we can help you do more.

Get Started at