Tennessee, Kentucky Among Worst Toxic Pollution States
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - A recent report shows Kentucky is the worst state in the nation when it comes to toxic air pollution from coal-fired power plants. Tennessee was ranked 11th in the country.
The analysis was released Thursday by the Natural Resources Defense Council and looked at emissions from power plants in 2010, the most recent data available.
The NRDC-compiled data show:
Tennessee's electric sector ranked 11th in industrial toxic air pollution in 2010, emitting more than 9.6 million pounds of harmful chemicals, which accounted for 37 percent of state pollution and about 3 percent of toxic pollution from all U.S. power plants.
Tennessee ranked 21st among all states in industrial mercury air pollution from power plants with about 1,250 pounds emitted in 2010, which accounted for 65 percent of state mercury air pollution and 2 percent of U.S. electric sector mercury pollution.
As for the other states bordering Kentucky, Ohio ranked 2nd, Indiana 4th, West Virginia 5th, Virginia 12th, Missouri 15th and Illinois 16th. Delaware was No. 20 in the group's "Toxic Twenty" states.
Nationally, the report found a 19 percent drop in all air toxics emitted from power plants in 2010, compared with 2009 levels.
The report said one reason for the drop, which included a four percent decrease in mercury emissions, is due to an increased use of natural gas by power companies.
(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)