The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s 2017 Toxics Release Inventory National Analysis indicates that since 2007, releases of toxic chemicals by manufacturers declined, despite a growing economy.

Nearly 22,000 industrial facilities submitted data for the report. Those plants reported that air releases of toxins declined by 11-million lb in 2017. Since 2007, air releases fell 57% at industrial plants that submitted data. Electric utilities are responsible for the largest percentage of the decrease, says EPA.

Recycling, energy recovery and treatment are responsible for 87% of the nearly 31-billion lb of toxic chemical wastes prevented from release into the environment during 2017.

Plants reported implementing nearly 4,000 new source reduction activities that either eliminated or reduced the creation of chemical waste, according to EPA.