Newspaper article Evansville Courier & Press (2007-Current)

Ind. 4th-Worst for Toxic Pollution ; Power Plant Emissions Top Source

Newspaper article Evansville Courier & Press (2007-Current)

Ind. 4th-Worst for Toxic Pollution ; Power Plant Emissions Top Source

Article excerpt

Electric power plants continue to account for the majority of toxic air pollution released in Indiana, according to a new report, which found toxic releases by power plants in the state increased from 2009 to 2010. That increase in Indiana came as nationally toxic air pollution from power plants decreased 19 percent, according to the report by the Natural Resources Defense Council. That decrease reflected a 4 percent reduction in mercury emissions.

The group released its second annual report ranking the "Toxic 20" worst states for air pollution Thursday. It is based on information from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Toxic Release Inventory, which tracks releases of more than 650 toxic chemicals from thousands of facilities, including power plants.

It ranked Indiana the fourth-worst state for toxic pollution from coal-fired power plants. Indiana ranked sixth-worst in the group's 2011 report.

Indiana's electric utilities emitted more than 26.2 million pounds of chemicals in 2010, which accounted for 65 percent of state pollution and about 8 percent of toxic pollution from all U.S. power plants, according to the report.

More than 32 percent of the 26.2 million pounds from Indiana's electric utilities was released by three Southwestern Indiana power plants - Indianapolis Power & Light in Petersburg, Duke Energy's Gibson Station near Owensville and Indiana Michigan Power at Rockport.

Power plants operating in the top 20 states ranked in the report accounted for 92 percent of all toxic pollution released by electric utilities in 2010, the most recent year of data available from the EPA.

Indiana ranked fifth among all states in industrial mercury air pollution from power plants with more than 3,170 pounds emitted in 2010, which accounted for 78 percent of mercury air pollution in the state and 5 percent of U. …

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