Toxic releases declined in 2011, EPA study shows

Wednesday, Jan. 23, 2013 4:58 PM
Last updated Saturday, Jan. 26, 2013 10:32 PM
  • Follow Latest News

Chemical emissions in industry-laden Richmond County decreased slightly from 2010 to 2011, after an increase of more than 3 million pounds the previous year, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s annual Toxics Release Inventory.

The annual study, which tracks releases to air, land and water, said the county’s total releases decreased from 13.98 million pounds in 2010 to 13.95 million pounds in 2011, the most recent year for which complete figures are available.

The 2009 countywide total was 10.88 million pounds.

Historically, Augusta’s largest polluters have tended to be the largest industries, with No. 1 emitter PCS Nitrogen Fertilizer reporting the release of 5.7 million pounds in 2011, reflecting an increase over the 2010 total of 4.9 million pounds. The site released 5.5 million pounds in 2009.

DSM Chemicals North America reported 2011 releases totaling 5.3 million pounds, down from the 2010 figure of 5.8 million pounds of chemicals that included nitrates, cyclohexane, ammonia and toluene. The 2010 figure was more than twice the 2009 release of nearly 2.9 million pounds.

Ranking third was another major industry, International Paper, which reported about 2.6 million pounds of ammonia, hydrochloric acid, methanol and other compounds. The 2011 sum was down from the 2010 figure of 2.8 million pounds. The company’s 2009 releases totaled nearly 2.2 million pounds.

All the releases are authorized under state and federal regulatory permits issued to industries that provide jobs and tax revenues. Variations can be caused by changes in manufacturing processes or economic conditions that affect production.

From a national perspective, total toxic air releases in 2011 dropped by 8 percent while total toxic chemical releases increased for the second consecutive year, according to the inventory, which was released on Jan. 16.

The inventory is based on data submitted to federal, state and local governments by facilities in the mining, manufacturing and hazardous waste industries, according to a news release. It also collects information on prevention and management.

“The Toxics Release Inventory provides widespread access to valuable environmental information. It plays a critical role in EPA’s efforts to hold polluters accountable and identify and acknowledge those who take steps to prevent pollution,” EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson said in a news release.

EMISSIONS

Emission totals, in pounds, for Richmond County, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s annual Toxics Release Inventory:

  • 2011: 13,951,073
  • 2010: 13,982,774
  • 2009: 10,880,547
  • 2008: 11,852,485
  • 2007: 12,713,205
  • 2006: 14,014,418
  • 2005: 13,118,856
  • 2004: 13,060,871
  • 2003: 15,947,383
  • 2002: 8,802,960
  • 2001: 7,431,775
Comments (8) Add comment
ADVISORY: Users are solely responsible for opinions they post here and for following agreed-upon rules of civility. Posts and comments do not reflect the views of this site. Posts and comments are automatically checked for inappropriate language, but readers might find some comments offensive or inaccurate. If you believe a comment violates our rules, click the "Flag as offensive" link below the comment.
Riverman1
86889
Points
Riverman1 01/23/13 - 06:26 pm
2
1
As long as you maintain

As long as you maintain adequate flow in the river that shouldn't hurt anything. At Clyo, supposedly, the oxygen content is back to normal.

Sweet son
10729
Points
Sweet son 01/23/13 - 06:27 pm
3
0
Sounds like DSM and International Paper would............

be good places for researchers to conduct employee health screenings to see what if any negative health related findings would be found. I lost a father-in-law in the late 80's to a brain tumor. He was a DSM employee. I also know of at least two other employees who lost their lives to this same type of tumor. Is this a coincidence? Millions of pounds of toxins sounds like a lot! Nitrogen fertilizer is necessary for today's farming operations but liquid nylon(DSM) and white paper(International) seem questionable when health issues are involved.

Sweet son
10729
Points
Sweet son 01/23/13 - 06:32 pm
4
0
@Riverman

Good logic on the stuff released in the Savannah but what about the stuff that flows out of the stacks located on these sites! Worked at DSM years ago and when you went to work in the morning with a fresh shave the nitric acid fumes would burn your face. Not a scientist but I am sure this was not good. We also crawled around on top of toluene and benzene tanks for maintenance. Both are known carcinogens. Just sayin!

trimmy
29
Points
trimmy 01/23/13 - 06:44 pm
0
0
pollutants
Unpublished

Industry is ruining large parts of the earth. I believe it's gradual but it's happening. I'm not sure there is anything that can be done at this point. I'm as guilty as anyone for using certain products that pollute the earth through their manufacture. Someone help.

Riverman1
86889
Points
Riverman1 01/23/13 - 06:45 pm
4
0
SweetSon, yeah, I can relate.

SweetSon, yeah, I can relate. Before I went in the Army, college, etc. I worked in three different industrial places. We had more crud on us than you can imagine. Carcinogenic to the max.

soapy_725
43757
Points
soapy_725 01/23/13 - 07:35 pm
1
0
P&G won't be adding to the
Unpublished

pollution of the air and water anymore. One way to lower the emissions is to lower the industrial production. Government logic??

BOD, Biodegradable Oxygen Demand is not the only measure of water purity. It is a measure of the water's ability to manage sewage. It takes oxygen to process wastes. Toxins do not necessarily effect BOD. Lead, mercury, other heavy metals and hydrocarbons do not necessarily effect BOD. Fertilizers do affect BOD via algae growth. Fish like high BOD.

Little Lamb
46904
Points
Little Lamb 01/24/13 - 08:46 am
2
0
Chemical Workers

I say, “Hats off,” to the chemical workers. Our lives without chemicals would be so miserable you cannot imagine it. Hang in there, guys and gals, and be safe!

Little Lamb
46904
Points
Little Lamb 01/24/13 - 09:47 am
0
1
Razor Burn

Sweet Son posted:

I worked at DSM years ago and when you went to work in the morning with a fresh shave the nitric acid fumes would burn your face.

Maybe that explains why so many chemical workers keep scruffy-looking beards.

:-)

Sweet son
10729
Points
Sweet son 01/26/13 - 12:43 pm
2
0
@Little Lamb

Good idea. Maybe I should have had the beard. Brother in law works at International and they made him shave his beard off so that a Scott air pack mask would seal around his face.

What I described about the burning face brings new meaning to"razor burn....""

:)

Little Lamb
46904
Points
Little Lamb 01/26/13 - 01:05 pm
1
1
List

It really is pointless to compare year-to-year releases because the EPA keeps changing the criteria of what is required to be reported. What they say is toxic this year and must be reported was not required to be reported a couple of years ago. The fact is that the air and the rivers are getting cleaner and cleaner, but the EPA keeps ratcheting up the reporting criteria just to fool the dumb masses. It's job security for the EPA to keep the citizenry in despondency and panic mode.

(P.S. — Job security for environmental lobbyists and Democrat lawmakers, too.)

Back to Top

Search Augusta jobs