PORTAGE, Ind. (AP)
- Two counties in northwestern Indiana have seen the highest number of toxic
releases in more than a decade, despite a national decline, according to the
Environmental Protection Agency.
The Toxics Release
Inventory national analysis released Tuesday found Lake County had 378 toxic
releases in 2017, while Porter County had 134, The Post-Tribune reported.
Those are the largest amounts of on-site releases of toxins the counties
have seen since 2003.
collected on chemicals released into the air, water or soil from about
21,500 facilities across the country. The 49 in Lake County released more
than 26 million pounds of material, while the 28 in Porter County released
about 3.8 million pounds of material.
The facilities with
the highest number of releases in the two counties were BP Products in
Whiting, Tradebe Treatment and Recycling in East Chicago, Arcelor Mittal in
East Chicago, Arcelor Mittal in Burns Harbor and U.S. Steel Gary Works.
The report included
an incident when U.S. Steel in Portage spilled hexavalent chromium, a
potentially carcinogenic chemical, into Lake Michigan in April 2017.
On a national
level, the analysis found that water releases have declined 70 percent since
2003, while air releases have declined 25 percent.
“This year’s TRI
results give proof that economic growth and an improved environment can go
hand in hand,” said Alexandra Dunn, the EPA’s assistant administrator for
chemical safety and pollution prevention, in a statement.
pollution prevention controls were enacted at the facilities, Dunn said.