Our Place in the Universe: 9th toxic state - News - News - Blogs - Atlanta Magazine

Our Place in the Universe: 9th toxic state

Posted By: Elizabeth Florio · 7/22/2011 9:44:00 AM

A report released Wednesday by the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) and Physicians for Social Responsibility (PSR) stamped Georgia with a number nine on its “Toxic Twenty” states list.

The report states that in 2009, Georgia power plants emitted more than 18.2 million pounds of harmful chemicals into the air, accounting for 44 percent of state pollution and 5 percent of toxic pollution from all U.S. power plants.

The NRDC and PSR were able to compile the roll call of top polluters—Ohio the worst of them, followed by Pennsylvania and Florida, respectively—by using data from the Environmental Protection Agency’s Toxics Release Inventory. This database contains information, self-reported by industrial sources, regarding the disposal and release of more than 600 toxic chemicals.

For an interactive look at Georgia’s contribution to worldwide carbon emissions, check out Carbon Monitoring for Action, a user-friendly database that reveals the footprint of power plants and power companies around the world. Our state houses two of the highest CO2–emitting plants in the world: Scherer plant, located in Juliette, is the ninth largest emitter, while Cartersville’s Bowen plant is number twenty-two. Both are operated by Georgia Power.

Download the full report here.

Ponder is a journalism student at the University of Georgia and a digital media intern with Atlanta magazine.
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