TURA Overview

Since 1990, the successful TURA program has helped Massachusetts businesses reduce toxics use by 40% and waste byproducts associated with that use by 71%. These reductions have lowered chemical transportation risk, workplace hazards, and the amount of toxics in manufactured products, and have helped Massachusetts businesses remain competitive in a global economy.

A principle reason for TURA's success is that companies covered by the program are required to develop and use a chemical tracking system. The tracking system helps companies understand their use of chemicals and where losses occur in the manufacturing process. Companies annually report their chemical use and the waste generation from the use to the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP).

These same companies develop plans that identify options and evaluate alternatives that would reduce the use of these chemicals and the waste they generate. When alternatives that make good business sense are available, companies will frequently adopt these cost effective strategies, which lead to more efficient chemical use and a reduction in waste generation. Companies provide the MassDEP with a progress update every other year. A fact sheet with additional information about the TURA reporting and planning requirements is available from the MassDEP http://www.mass.gov/dep/toxics/turafact.pdf.

The TUR Act was amended in 2006 (Chapter 188 of the Acts of 2006) to build on the program's success and to meet the challenges of manufacturing in a global economy. Significant changes to the TUR Act include:

  • Streamlined reporting requirements for industry
  • Emphasis on more hazardous chemicals and a lower 1,000 pound reporting threshold for those chemicals
  • Flexibility for companies to prepare resource conservation plans every other planning cycle for energy, water, or materials that contribute to solid waste
  • Encouraging businesses to increase environmental performance through the development and implementation of an environmental management system (EMS)
  • For more information about the 2006 amendments to TURA see the MassDEP fact sheet http://www.mass.gov/dep/toxics/turlegfs.pdf.

TURA Progress

2014 Toxics Reduction Task Force Progress Report  pdf format of 2014 Toxics Reduction Task Force Progress Report
This report provides an update on the progress made by the interagency Task Force to implement the directives of Executive Order 515 during Fiscal Year 2014.

2013 Toxics Use Reduction Task Force Progress Report pdf format of Purchasing Toxics Reduction Task Force
This report provides an update on the progress made by the interagency Task Force to implement the directives of Executive Order 515 during Fiscal Year 2013.

2012 Toxics Reduction Task Force Progress Report  pdf format of 2012 Toxics Reduction Task Force Progress Report
This report provides an update on the progress made by the interagency Task Force to implement the directives of Executive Order 515 during Fiscal Year 2012.

2011 Toxics Reduction Task Force Progress Report docx format of 2011 Toxics Reduction Task Force Progress Report
This report summarizes the progress of the Task Force in implementing the directives of Executive Order 515 during Fiscal Year 2011.

 

The total amount of toxic chemicals reported used in 2009 by companies subject to TURA reporting, (including trade secret data) was 881 million pounds. Of this total, the 2000 Core Group (industry categories and chemicals subject to reporting in 2000 and 2008) used 796 million pounds, or 90% of the total toxic chemicals reported used.

Adjusting the data to account for a 23% decrease in production from 2000 to 2009, over that nine-year period, the 2000 Core Group facilities reduced:

  • Toxic chemical use by 21%
  • Toxic byproducts by 38%
  • Toxics shipped in product by 21%
  • On-site releases of toxics to the environment by 56%
  • Transfers of toxics off-site for further waste management by 23%

*The 2000 Core Group is a representative sampling of TURA filers that reported in 2000 and 2009. The reductions were between reporting year 2000 and reporting year 2009. For a copy of the full report please visit the MassDEP website. TURI also has a searchable site - http://www.turadata.turi.org/ for toxics use data. If you have any questions or comments concerning the TURA data site, please contact Heather Tenney.

 


This information is provided by the Office of Technical Assistance and Technology