Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Seven of NY's Biggest Polluters are Local

Western New York is home to seven of the state's biggest polluters, according to The Buffalo News analysis of the Toxics Release Inventory of 2009 recently made available by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

The Toxics Release Inventory Program compiles data on toxic chemical releases and waste management activities reported annually by certain industries and federal facilities and makes it available through online database tools.

The local companies are listed below according to their rank in New York's Top 25 Polluters:

7. CWM Chemical Services, Lewiston and Porter
8. Huntley Station, Town of Tonawanda
14. 3M Company, Town of Tonawanda
16. AES Somerset, Somerset
18. DuPont Yerkes plant, Town of Tonawanda
19. Niagara Generation, Niagara Falls
21. Cooper Power Systems, Olean

is the area's largest polluter, releasing 765,544 pounds of waste, 99% which is burried in its landfill.

A CWM spokesperson called the EPA's methodology "misleading and counterintuitive", stating that "What is in fact an activity that provides a high level of community protection is inappropriately reported as a 'release' to the environment." See the full report at

It is not surprising that CWM does not consider their land as part of the environment?
Industrial toxic waste present in the Love Canal community was always part of the environment, both when it was buried underground as well as after it leaked from the burial site and became a public health emergency.

The EPA monitors releases of toxic pollution into air, water and land, both on- and off-site, to ensure a high level of community protection, now and into the future.

Please note that The Buffalo News ranking is based on the quantity of chemical waste released, not on the toxicity of the specific chemicals. Also, the EPA data do not reflect what exposure there may be to the public from the chemicals released.

The EPA's Toxics Release Inventory (TRI) provides communities with information about chemical releases and waste management activities in order to support informed decision making at all levels by industry, government, non-governmental organizations, and the public. Online access to the TRI is provided here.

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