Chemical Manufacturing
SmartSectors

Chemical Manufacturing sector banner image

The chemical manufacturing sector employs approximately 822,000 people

U.S. Share of Total Production

Value of Construction Spending

The chemical sector accounted for 14% U.S. goods exports, $174 billion in 2016

Use the checkboxes below to select an environmental performance indicator and an economic benchmark.

Environmental Performance Indicators







Economic Benchmarks


What is in this chart?

This chart shows total air emissions, as reported annually to EPA’s Toxics Release Inventory (TRI) between 1996 and 2018, by establishments classified into NAICS 325 (chemical manufacturing). Total air emissions decreased from 424 million pounds in 1996 to 158 million pounds in 2018.

What are TRI air emissions?

Total air emissions reported to TRI include fugitive air emissions and stack air emissions. Fugitive air emissions are all releases to air that do not occur through a confined air stream; such emissions may include equipment leaks, releases from building ventilation systems, and evaporative losses from surface impoundments and spills. Stack air emissions are releases to air that occur through a confined air stream, such as stacks, ducts, or pipes.

The quantity of releases does not indicate the level of health risk posed by the emissions. TRI data can vary from year to year at the facility and sector levels for a variety of reasons. For questions about specific values, contact TRI. In addition to TRI reporting, chemical manufacturers are subject to statutory and regulatory requirements, including permitting.

View Impact Per Unit of Production View Environmental and Economic Benchmarks

What is in this chart?

This chart shows total air emissions, as reported annually to EPA’s Toxics Release Inventory (TRI) between 1996 and 2018, by establishments classified into NAICS 325 (chemical manufacturing). Total air emissions decreased from 424 million pounds in 1996 to 158 million pounds in 2018.

What are TRI air emissions?

Total air emissions reported to TRI include fugitive air emissions and stack air emissions. Fugitive air emissions are all releases to air that do not occur through a confined air stream; such emissions may include equipment leaks, releases from building ventilation systems, and evaporative losses from surface impoundments and spills. Stack air emissions are releases to air that occur through a confined air stream, such as stacks, ducts, or pipes.

The quantity of releases does not indicate the level of health risk posed by the emissions. TRI data can vary from year to year at the facility and sector levels for a variety of reasons. For questions about specific values, contact TRI. In addition to TRI reporting, chemical manufacturers are subject to statutory and regulatory requirements, including permitting.

This sector includes chemical manufacturing (NAICS 325). Establishments in this sector use chemical processes to transform raw materials and formulate products, including basic chemicals, resins, paints, and inputs to the pharmaceutical and agricultural industries.

The sector comprises "commodity" and "specialty-batch" manufacturers. Commodity manufacturers generate chemical products in large volumes in response to homogenous specifications. Specialty-batch manufacturers generate products for niche markets, developing complex products in small quantities which are then processed into higher value-added products. This sector does not include all industries transforming raw materials by chemical process. For more information about the companies classified into NAICS 325, visit the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

For more information about the EPA Smart Sectors program, visit: epa.gov/smartsectors.

For more information about the chemical manufacturing sector, visit:

Air Emissions

How to Download Your Data
  1. Go to https://www.epa.gov/enviro/tri-ez-search.
  2. Scroll down and click on “Flat (Denormalized) Form R – A flat view of the TRI database that contains a majority of the available TRI information.
  3. Select the following variables from the list of data elements provided.
    1. Reporting Year
    2. In the row immediately below Air Total Release check the box above SUM
    3. Primary NAICS Code
  4. Scroll to the bottom of the page and click on “STEP 3: Enter Search Criteria”
  5. On the next page:
    1. For Reporting Year – switch Operator to “Between.” In the pop-up box that results, enter “1996” into the top form field, and “2018” into the bottom form field. Then Click “Enter BETWEEN Range in Search Field.” In the Sort Column field, enter “1.” (You can leave the other columns blank or unchanged.)
    2. For Primary NAICS Code – switch Operator to “Beginning with,” and enter 325 (Chemicals) under Search Value. Then check the last box to the right under “Where Only.”
    3. Click on “Search database” or “Output to CSV File”
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Criteria Air Pollutants

How to Download Your Data

Note: Processing National Emissions Inventory data will require use of data processing software. The data are available in a tab or comma-delimited text format that must be imported into a program that will allow you to analyze the file.

  1. For 1996, 1999, 2002, and 2005:
  2. For 2008, 2011, 2014, and 2017, use the following links: At each link, click the “Data Summaries” tab, then download the file “Facility-level by Pollutant.”
  3. Chemical manufacturing facilities are grouped under SIC codes 2812, 2813, 2816, 2819, 2821-24, 2833-36, 2841-44, 2851, 2861, 2865, 2869, 2873, 2875, 2879, 2891-93, 2895, 2899, 2923, 2974, and 3087 for the years 1996 and 1999 and NAICS codes beginning with 325 for the years 2002 – 2017.
  4. Using the SIC and NAICS variables, filter for chemical products facilities, then sum total emissions of CO, NOX, VOC, PM10, NH3, and SO2 in each year to arrive at the totals shown in this chart.
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Greenhouse Gases

How to Download Your Data
  1. Go to https://www.epa.gov/ghgreporting/ghg-reporting-program-data-sets
  2. Click the “2018 Data Summary Spreadsheets” link. In the resulting ZIP file, open the spreadsheet, “ghgp_data_by_year.xlsx.” Navigate to the first worksheet, “Direct Emitters.”
  3. Apply a filter to Column K (Primary NAICS Code), displaying only the values for NAICS Codes beginning with 325.
  4. With the filter from Step 3 applied, for each year, 2011 through 2018, sum the relevant column of “Total reported direct emissions.” For example, Column T corresponds to 2011, Column S corresponds to 2012, etc.
  5. For 2010 data, open the spreadsheet, “ghgp_data_2010” from the ZIP file. Repeat Steps 3 and 4 in this file; the 2010 “Total reported direct emissions” data are in Column N of the “Direct Emitters” worksheet.
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Energy Use

How to Download Your Data
  1. Go to https://www.eia.gov/outlooks/aeo/
  2. Under “Reference case tables,” go to “View all reference case tables”
  3. Go to Table 27. Bulk Chemical Industry Energy Consumption.
  4. For 2019, copy the value for “Total (trillion Btu)” under “Energy Consumption”
  5. Repeat for each Annual Energy Outlook, 2010-2019, copying only the first year of data from each. All other years in each report are projected values (AEO 2015 has 2012 and 2013 data).
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Hazardous Waste Generation

How to Download Your Data
  1. Go to https://rcrainfo.epa.gov/rcrainfoweb/action/modules/br/naics/view
  2. For each reporting cycle, sum the output across all NAICS codes to calculate the total shown in this chart for the year corresponding to that reporting cycle by using the following criteria:
    • NAICS code: 325 (includes all five- and six-digit chemical manufacturing NAICS codes beginning with 325).
    • Reporting cycles: 2001, 2003, 2005, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2013, 2015, 2017
    • You do not need to change the “Generators to Include” dropdown or the “Location” dropdown before hitting submit.
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Production-Related Waste Managed

How to Download Your Data
  1. Go to https://www.epa.gov/enviro/tri-ez-search.
  2. Scroll down and click on “Flat (Denormalized) Form R – A flat view of the TRI database that contains a majority of the available TRI information.
  3. Select the following variables from the list of data elements provided.
    1. Reporting Year
    2. In the row immediately below Total Production Related Waste check the box above SUM
    3. Primary NAICS Code
  4. Scroll to the bottom of the page and click on “STEP 3: Enter Search Criteria”
  5. On the next page:
    1. For Reporting Year – switch Operator to “Between.” In the pop-up box that results, enter “1996” into the top form field, and “2018” into the bottom form field. Then Click “Enter BETWEEN Range in Search Field.” In the Sort Column field, enter “1.” (You can leave the other columns blank or unchanged.)
    2. For Primary NAICS Code – switch Operator to “Beginning with,” and enter 325 (Chemicals) under Search Value. Then check the last box to the right under “Where Only.”
    3. Click on “Search database” or “Output to CSV File”
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Recycling of Waste Chemicals

How to Download Your Data
  1. Go to https://www.epa.gov/enviro/tri-ez-search
  2. Scroll down and click on “Flat (Denormalized) Form R – A flat view of the TRI database that contains a majority of the available TRI information.
  3. Select the following variables from the list of data elements provided.
    1. Reporting Year
    2. In the row immediately below Recycling Onsite Current Year Quantity check the box above SUM
    3. Primary NAICS Code
  4. Scroll to the bottom of the page and click on “STEP 3: Enter Search Criteria”
  5. On the next page:
    1. For Reporting Year – switch Operator to “Between.” In the pop-up box that results, enter “1996” into the top form field, and “2018” into the bottom form field. Then Click “Enter BETWEEN Range in Search Field.” In the Sort Column field, enter “1.” (You can leave the other columns blank or unchanged.)
    2. For Primary NAICS Code – switch Operator to “Beginning with,” and enter 325 (Chemicals) under Search Value. Then check the last box to the right under “Where Only.”
    3. Click on “Search database” or “Output to CSV File”
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Releases to Land

How to Download Your Data
  1. Go to https://www.epa.gov/enviro/tri-ez-search.
  2. Scroll down and click on “Flat (Denormalized) Form R – A flat view of the TRI database that contains a majority of the available TRI information.
  3. Select the following variables from the list of data elements provided.
    • Reporting Year
    • In the row immediately below Land Total Release check the box above SUM
    • Primary NAICS Code
  4. Scroll to the bottom of the page and click on “STEP 3: Enter Search Criteria”
  5. On the next page::
    1. For Reporting Year – switch Operator to “Between.” In the pop-up box that results, enter “1996” into the top form field, and “2018” into the bottom form field. Then Click “Enter BETWEEN Range in Search Field.” In the Sort Column field, enter “1.” (You can leave the other columns blank or unchanged.)
    2. For Primary NAICS Code – switch Operator to “Beginning with,” and enter 325 (Chemicals) under Search Value. Then check the last box to the right under “Where Only.”
    3. Click on “Search database” or “Output to CSV File”
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Water Discharges

How to Download Your Data
  1. Go to https://www.epa.gov/enviro/tri-ez-search.
  2. Scroll down and click on "Flat (Denormalized) Form R – A flat view of the TRI database that contains a majority of the available TRI information."
  3. Select the following variables from the list of data elements provided.
    • Reporting Year
    • In the row immediately below Water Total Release check the box above SUM
    • Primary NAICS Code
  4. Scroll to the bottom of the page and click on “STEP 3: Enter Search Criteria”
  5. On the next page:
    1. For Reporting Year – switch Operator to “Between.” In the pop-up box that results, enter “1996” into the top form field, and “2018” into the bottom form field. Then Click “Enter BETWEEN Range in Search Field.” In the Sort Column field, enter “1.” (You can leave the other columns blank or unchanged.)
    2. For Primary NAICS Code – switch Operator to “Beginning with,” and enter 325 (Chemicals) under Search Value. Then check the last box to the right under “Where Only.”
    3. Click on “Search database” or “Output to CSV File”
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Dollar Value of Gross Output

How to Download Your Data
  1. Go to https://www.bea.gov/industry/gdpbyind_data.htm
  2. Select “Access Underlying Detail tables.”
  3. Select “Gross Output by Industry.”
  4. Select “U.Gross Output by Industry (A).” Then on the next page, click “Next Step.” The resulting data table will then load.
  5. Select “Modify” in the upper-right-hand corner of the table. In the resulting window:
    1. Set the scale as “Billions”
    2. Set the start year as “1997”
    3. Set the start year as “Most Recent”
    4. In the code list, select only “(325) Chemical products.” Do not select any other item in this menu, doing so may double count.
    5. Click “Refresh Table”
  6. Row 1 of the resulting table, labeled “Chemical products” provides the corresponding data shown in this chart for each year.
  7. (Optional) Download the dataset in XLS, CSV, or PDF format.
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Employment

How to Download Your Data

Note: Processing employment data from the Census Bureau will require use of data processing software. The data are available in a comma-delimited text format that must be imported into a software package that will allow you to analyze the file.

  1. Go to https://www.census.gov/programs-surveys/cbp/data/datasets.html
  2. Click on any link labeled “County Business Patterns: YEAR.” On the resulting page, click the “Complete U.S. File” link and download the corresponding file. Repeat this process for each year from 1998 to 2018.
  3. Open each file in a software package of your choice that can process comma-delimited text files. Repeat the steps below for each file.
  4. For entities with suppressed data, the Census Bureau replaces all employment values with zeroes and this underestimates the total number of employees in each sector. Using your software package, replace the suppression flags with the midpoint of the Data Suppression Flag employment ranges per the table below.
    Empflag Data Suppression Flag Employment Size Class Midpoint
    Min Max
    A 0 19 10
    B 20 99 60
    C 100 249 175
    E 250 499 375
    F 500 999 750
    G 1000 2,499 1,750
    H 2,500 4,999 3,750
    I 5000 9,999 7,500
    J 10,000 24,999 17,500
    K 25,000 49,999 37,500
    L 50,000 99,999 75,000
    M 100,000 >100,000 100,000
  5. In your software package, filter the data for NAICS codes that begin with 365.
  6. With the filter in place, aggregate the “emp” column across all records.
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