Question: How can I identify where plastic manufacturing or processing industries and companies are located in my (1) region, (2) state, and/or (3) at county levels?

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by amocorro | November 04, 2020 18:32 | #24923

My local community (county level) doesn't currently have a licensed waterkeeper entity, so I am trying to start some basic information collecting as a Washington State community member on where facilities of concern may be AND could be contributing plastic pollution in the Salish Sea --and more specifically in the Puget Sound and South Puget Sound including the WRIA 10 Puyallup-White River Basin and the City of Tacoma. Once I identify where these facilities of concern are, I hope to identify potential outfall areas. The waterkeeper website says my local chapter is based in Seattle...which doesn't serve the communities where I live (over an hour away).

I'm inspired by the following media and resources:


It looks like EPA's Enviromapper tool doesn't allow you to specify for plastics, but it does list around 400 manufacturing sites in the Tacoma area, including a few dozen in the Port of Tacoma. That might be a good place to start!


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I'm learning a little about the EPA's National Emissions Inventory dashboard, which can show emissions point sources by industry. The interactive report from 2014 is here: And the dashboard for the report is here:

This screenshot from the dashboard is for several pollutants reported for plastic, resin, synthetic fiber, or rubber products plants.


The map doesn't show much for WA, but maybe you can cross-reference with @kgradow1's suggestion to start with EnviroMapper?

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This is great @bhamster - I wonder where Western USA data gets captured...Hmmm!

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LDEQ doesn't know the answer to this question on the Lower Mississippi River. here are the ways we are searching for the answer, in order to help them.

1) Texas' methods? Texas keeps track of this, see the new plastics rulemaking. Maybe they use the HW-1 NAICS codes? But LDEQ doesn't do this, the HW-1 for TCI Plastics doesn't include Plastic!

2) EIA data for "Ethylene Crackers" 5 facilities

3) we could make a public records request to LDEQ for any air permits along the MS River which mention "pellet" or some other code for "pellet handlers", which would be a pain unless we are sure about the code. --returned 7 plastic facilities that handle pellets, and make tons of PM 2.5 while handling them.

4) we could make a PRR LDEQ for water permits on the lower river that mention "pellet" LDEQ doesn't list pellets in water permits By the way, EPA has a GIS layer for NPDES_MAJOR which includes many facilities This is the list LDEQ gives you when you ask them this question. inane.

5) We could search for PVC, Ethylene, Polystyrene, and polypropylene in the Chem Plants .pdfs => 40 plants

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Here's the link to NAICS codes for Plastic. I would make a State Records Request to your state EPA for all facilities coded 3261. Unless your state is extremely dumb, like mine, the HW-1 (Hazardous Waste form #1) NAICS codes are among the first things that the facility sends the agency before getting a permit.

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This is a gem of information everyone! Sincerely appreciate you all for replying! Tip-offs have been great.

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Using @eustatic's tip on the NAICS code for plastic, this map and facilities list comes up for Pierce County on the EPA ICIS-AIR search (screenshot highlighting one example of a facility currently in operation).


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Definitely going to look into those other [orange] locations just over yonder in Fife and Milton areas too! Thanks for this tip off @bhamster

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