CHEMICAL PROFILES|Industrial Sectors and SIC Codes

Environmental release, transfer and waste management data are only available for the industries covered by the Toxics Release Inventory. TRI currently covers major manufacturing plants in specific industrial sectors, defined by Standard Industrial Classification (SIC) codes. Data are not currently available on environmental releases from many kinds of commercial activities. Service industries like dry cleaning and agricultural operations, for example, were not covered by TRI reporting obligations in 1998. It is therefore important to note that reports and rankings provided by Scorecard are always likely to underestimate (sometimes substantially) the amount of chemical releases, transfers and or waste management in an area.

TRI reporting requirements apply to the manufacturing sector (SIC codes 20-39), plus seven "new" sectors first required to report in 1998: metal mining, coal mining, electric utilities, petroleum bulk terminals, chemicals wholesalers, RCRA commercial hazardous waste treatment, and solvent recovery. Federal facilities also report to TRI regardless of their SIC classification. Within these sectors, facilities are only required to report if they have ten or more full-time employees, and manufacture or process over 25,000 pounds of listed TRI chemicals, or use more than 10,000 pounds of any listed chemical.

The following industrial sectors were covered by TRI in 1998:

10: Metal Mining
12: Coal Mining
20: Food and Kindred Products
21: Tobacco Products
22: Textile Mill Products
23: Apparel and Other Textile Products
24: Lumber and Wood Products
25: Furniture and Fixtures
26: Paper and Allied Products
27: Printing and Publishing
28: Chemicals and Allied Products
29: Petroleum and Coal Products
30: Rubber and Misc. Plastics Products
31: Leather and Leather Products
32: Stone, Clay, and Glass Products
33: Primary Metal Industries
34: Fabricated Metal Products
35: Industrial Machinery and Equipment
36: Electronic and Other Electric Equipment
37: Transportation Equipment
38: Instruments and Related Products
39: Miscellaneous Manufacturing Industries
4911/4931/4939: Electric Utilities
4953/7389: RCRA/Solvent Recovery
5169: Chemical Wholesalers

Due to the limitations of how companies report releases and waste generation to TRI, Scorecard cannot always rank facilities against just those companies engaged in very similar manufacturing activities. Two-digit SIC codes include diverse types of facilities (e.g., SIC code 28 covers plants that make very different types of chemical products), while 4-digit SIC codes provide much better definition of plants engaged in similar activities.

Scorecard can rank facilities within 4-digit SIC sectors when it profiles releases of specific chemicals, but it can only rank facilities within 2-digit SIC codes when it considers total chemical releases from a facility. For users seeking an evaluation of the environmental performance of facilities within a sector, the most accurate comparisons are provided at the level of specific chemicals, or by Scorecard's Rank by Environmental Performance section (which covers industrial plants in five well-defined sectors). Facility rankings within 2-digit SIC codes only provide very rough performance comparisons, because they may include very different types of manufacturing operations.

Some TRI facilities report that they are engaged in activities outside the manufacturing sectors as defined by SIC. The largest set of facilities outside of the TRI range are federal facilities, which often report under SIC code 97: National Security and International Affairs. Other facilities report SIC codes outside the TRI range because EPA reporting rules allow companies to specify the exact category of industrial activity involved with a chemical report. The largest number of these reports occur in the following sectors: 49: Electric, Gas, And Sanitary Services; 51: Wholesale Trade-Nondurable Goods; and 73: Business Services.

While there are some reporting facilities in many SIC codes outside the TRI program's focus (SIC 20-39, plus new 1998 industry sectors), Scorecard does not support ranking within these sectors because TRI does not have data on most of the facilities that actually operate in that sector. Scorecard does indicate these sector contributions to chemical-specific TRI reporting categories, but these will always be a substantial underestimate of that sector's actual releases, transfers or waste generation.