Study IDs dirtiest U.S. power plants

Dec. 7, 2011 at 8:58 PM

WASHINGTON, Dec. 7 (UPI) -- The dirtiest power plants in the nation persist in emitting a disproportionate amount of toxic pollutants, a report by U.S. environmental groups says.

Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indiana, Kentucky and Texas are five worst states in terms of power plant pollutants, an analysis by the Environmental Integrity Project, released Wednesday by EIP, Earthjustice, and the Sierra Club, said.

Among the pollutants measured were arsenic, chromium, hydrochloric acid, lead, mercury, nickel and selenium.

"The only thing more shocking than the large amounts of toxic chemicals released into the air each year by coal- and oil-fired power plants, is the fact that these emissions have been allowed for so many years," Ilan Levin, EIP associate director, said.

The report comes as the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is poised to adopt new rules on toxic emissions by power plants.

"This report makes clear that the health damage caused by power plants' pollution is preventable," Jim Pew, an attorney with Earthjustice, said. "We are counting on EPA to deliver that message next week, and we are counting on our elected representatives to back the agency up."

The EIP report used data from the EPA's Toxics Release Inventory of emissions reported in 2010.

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