Environment | Local

EPA: Northwest Releases More Than 100 Million Tons Of Toxic Chemicals

OPB | Jan. 5, 2012 5:41 a.m. | Updated: July 17, 2012 1:02 a.m. | Portland, OR

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A new report from the Environmental Protection Agency Thursday finds facilities in the three Northwest states released a combined 105 million tons of toxic chemicals — contributing to a national reversal in the recent trend of reduced toxic chemicals released into the air, land and water.

Nationally, The 2010 Toxic Release Inventory report issued today shows releases rose 16 percent across between 2009 and 2010. The rates of increase were greater in the Northwest:

Idaho: 95 facilities reported a total of 67 million pounds of toxic chemical releases, an increase of 17 percent. Oregon: 271 facilities reported a total of 18 million pounds of toxic chemical releases, an increase of 20 percent. Washington: 304 facilities reported a total of 20 million pounds of toxic chemical releases, an increase of 27 percent.

The EPA’s toxic chemical releases measure the amount of a toxic chemicals released into the air and water, injected underground, deposited into landfills and other disposal sites.

Reports that show TRI data broken out by industry, chemicals, and facilities for Alaska, Idaho, Oregon, and Washington can be found here.

The EPA defines the Northwest region as including Alaska, Washington, Idaho and Oregon. in those four states combined, metal mining accounted for 92 percent of the toxic chemicals released.

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