Reported toxic chemical releases from industrial plants grew by 2.2 percent in 1997, following years of decline, the EPA announced yesterday. The increase was attributed largely to plants sending more metal wastes to landfills rather than recycling centers because metal recycling prices increased. Emissions have dropped almost 43 percent since the Toxics Release Inventory (TRI) program began in 1988, and EPA Administrator Carol Browner said the agency expects they will continue to decline.