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[ TRI ] “Justice in the Air”

December 30th, 2010 No comments

[ Justice in the Air ] tracks toxic data from America’s Industries and Companies to Our States, Cities, and Neighborhoods.

And examines who breaths a disproportionate share of toxic air and who is releasing them.

Links on company names below lead to detailed company reports.

East Chicago Companies in Orange

Rank

Corporation

Toxic score
(pounds released
x toxicity x
population exposure)

Minority share of health risk

Low-income share of health risk

1

E.I. du Pont de Nemours

285,661

36.0%

17.3%

2

Archer Daniels Midland (ADM)

213,159

32.0%

22.5%

3

Dow Chemical

189,673

42.7%

13.%0

4

Bayer Group

172,773

24.3%

6.8%

5

Eastman Kodak

162,430

26.2%

13.4%

6

General Electric

149,061

32.4%

13.4%

7

Arcelor Mittal

134,573

61.6%

24.9%

8

US Steel

129,123

36.8%

17.8%

9

ExxonMobil

128,758

69.1%

25.4%

10

AK Steel Holding

101,428

7.9%

17.8%

11

Eastman Chemical

98,432

9.9%

25.4%

12

Duke Energy

93,174

20.3%

16.9%

13

ConocoPhillips

91,993

34.7%

15.1%

14

Precision Castparts

87,500

15.8%

9.8%

15

Alcoa

85,983

20.3%

15.2%

16

Valero Energy

83,993

59.9%

12.8%

17

Ford Motor

75,360

24.6%

11.7%

18

General Motors

73,248

29.5%

19.8%

19

Goodyear

67,632

27.3%

11.2%

20

E.ON

65,579

21.6%

15.6%

21

Matsushita Electric Indl

65,346

54.6%

15.7%

22

Freeport-McMoran Copper & Gold

63,911

62.1%

13.2%

23

Apollo Mgt. (Hexion Specialty Chemicals)

63,880

40.2%

13.1%

24

Avery Dennison

62,740

37.7%

14.8%

25

BASF

60,984

31.9%

13.3%

26

Owens Corning

59,609

42.6%

9.7%

27

Dominion Resources

58,642

29.3%

15.9%

28

Allegheny Technologies

58,375

8.3%

14.2%

29

BP

54,336

54.7%

11.3%

30

Honeywell International

50,417

42.1%

13.1%

31

International Paper

49,385

30.6%

16.2%

32

Ashland

43,492

30.7%

18.9%

33

Constellation Energy

42,972

35.5%

11.2%

34

Public Service Enterprise Group (PSEG)

41,773

57.0%

16.5%

35

AES

39,789

29.8%

15.1%

36

Progress Energy

38,027

24.0%

11.2%

37

Nucor

36,963

51.3%

21.2%

38

United Technologies

36,526

30.6%

7.6%

39

Timken

36,047

17.6%

17.4%

40

Berkshire Hathaway

35,285

37.8%

13.2%

41

SPX

34,559

39.8%

11.2%

42

Royal Dutch Shell

34,556

43.5%

13.8%

43

Southern Co

33,577

33.6%

12.5%

44

Allegheny Energy

31,539

10.2%

14.1%

45

American Electric

31,364

9.3%

124%

46

Reliant Energy

30,821

14.0%

10.7%

47

Boeing

30,453

33.7%

13.6%

48

General Dynamics

30,337

69.0%

20.9%

49

Occidental Petroleum

30,069

43.6%

16.9%

50

KeySpan

29,008

53.7%

17.8%

51

Lyondell Chemical

28,591

33.6%

14.9%

52

Sunoco

27,851

33.5%

16.6%

53

Anheuser-Busch Cos

27,032

41.0%

16.7%

54

Ball

25,709

38.5%

14.8%

55

Deere & Co

25,346

19.9%

15.6%

56

Procter & Gamble

25,238

41.2%

16.1%

57

Tesoro

24,708

24.6%

10.0%

58

Temple-Inland

24,537

47.0%

20.1%

59

Pfizer

24,508

38.3%

19.8%

60

Rowan Cos.

24,389

46.2%

21.6%

61

Leggett & Platt

23,870

28.2%

12.6%

62

Northrop Grumman

23,798

56.6%

22.6%

63

Weyerhaeuser

22,708

23.0%

17.1%

64

Rohm and Haas

22,489

40.9%

16.5%

65

Tyco International

22,115

32.7%

9.3%

66

Terex

21,730

17.3%

9.4%

67

Corning

20,942

17.6%

12.6%

68

Exelon

20,811

33.6%

13.6%

69

Fortune Brands

20,583

19.5%

8.0%

70

FirstEnergy

20,441

16.8%

10.0%

71

Suncor Energy

20,378

45.3%

12.9%

72

Crown Holdings

19,447

30.5%

14.3%

73

Masco

18,572

6.7%

12.0%

74

ThyssenKrupp Group

18,133

21.7%

12.1%

75

Textron

17,443

33.6%

13.6%

76

Sony

16,426

12.5%

5.3%

77

Mirant

16,337

42.4%

9.2%

78

RAG

16,080

52.9%

18.4%

79

Alcan

15,231

10.8%

12.1%

80

Huntsman

15,119

47.7%

20.4%

81

Bridgestone

14,952

15.9%

10.1%

82

Danaher

14,621

23.9%

15.7%

83

PPG Industries

14,300

23.2%

13.0%

84

Hess

13,687

66.5%

26.4%

85

Akzo Nobel

13,453

58.6%

25.2%

86

Dynegy Inc.

13,439

25.6%

10.1%

87

Federal-Mogul

13,435

28.0%

13.6%

88

Stanley Works

13,196

32.1%

10.2%

89

Komatsu

13,132

30.9%

19.2%

90

Saint-Gobain

13,012

38.6%

16.7%

91

PPL

12,972

11.6%

8.0%

92

Caterpillar

12,924

24.2%

11.0%

93

Smurfit-Stone Container

12,868

29.9%

12.0%

94

Siemens

12,649

32.8%

12.8%

95

MeadWestvaco

12,465

40.9%

18.3%

96

Marathon Oil

12,454

33.0%

14.3%

97

Emerson Electric

12,258

13.1%

15.1%

98

Northeast Utilities

11,115

11.7%

7.9%

99

National Oilwell Varco

11,042

78.0%

26.5%

100

Dana

10,638

36.2%

17.6%

Toxic 100 firms

4,713,588

34..%

15.2%

Other 500-list firms

459,798

31.1%

13.3%

Non-500-list firms

9,403,595

35.2%

15.5%

All Firms

14,576,982

34.8%

15.3%

U.S. population

31.8%

12.9%

Explanatory notes:

  • Toxic score: Quantity of air releases and incineration transfers reported in the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Toxics Release Inventory for the year 2005, adjusted for dispersion through the environment, toxicity of chemicals and number of people impacted. Adjustments are from the EPA’s Risk-Screening Environmental Indicators project. For details, see the technical notes.
  • ‘Minority share of health risk’ and ‘Low-income share of health risk’ express the share of the total RSEI human health risk from toxic air pollution of a particular company borne by minorities or low-income people.  For details, see Ash and Boyce, “Measuring Corporate Environmental Justice Performance.”
  • Coverage: This table presents the highest toxic scores for corporations that appear on certain Fortune, Forbes, and/or Standard & Poor’s top company lists in the year 2007. Individual facilities are assigned to corporate parents on the basis of the most current information on the ownership structure.

Categories: The Air I Breath

The Air I Breath {Regional Rats}: 2008 TRI Data (9th of 3140 counties)

December 9th, 2009 No comments

The economic downturn has some benefits for fence-line industrial communities.

View Outside My Window

It is becoming clear that Gitte Laasby is one of the most important journalist in Northwest Indiana. Here again she writes on a subject I am acutely sensitive towards.

via [ Post-Tribune ] “Lake County pollution bad despite reduction” By Gitte Laasby

New toxic release data from EPA shows Lake County industries released the ninth-most pollution in the nation in 2008 — more than 31.5 million pounds.

The high ranking, released Monday, comes despite a 31.1 percent reduction in releases from Lake County industrial plants compared to 2007.

The data, self-reported by the industries to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Toxics Release Inventory, also shows that two Lake County steel mills are among the nation’s 50 biggest polluters.

U.S. Steel Gary Works is No. 37 with about 12.6 million pounds. ArcelorMittal in East Chicago is No. 46 despite cutting its releases by more than half, from about 25.8 million pounds in 2007 to 11 million pounds in 2008.

By comparison, BP Whiting increased its releases 33.8 percent from nearly 529,000 pounds in 2007 to nearly 708,000 pounds in 2008.

Among the 650 chemicals included in the data are carcinogens and other toxic material that cause adverse health effects and potential environmental harm.

Not all toxic releases are harmful or bad. The numbers include toxic material emitted into the air, discharged into water and disposed of in underground injection wells, but also materials that are landfilled or recycled.

A Post-Tribune analysis of preliminary TRI data published in September concluded that Northwest Indiana industries had reduced their overall pollution by about 30 percent. The most significant reductions were at area steel mills.

At the time, Branch Chief of the Indiana Department of Environmental Management’s Office of Pollution Prevention Jennifer Schick said the reductions were likely a result of production cuts rather than regulatory requirements or voluntary reductions.

On Tuesday, IDEM spokeswoman Amy Hartsock stopped short of drawing such a conclusion.

“Because an analysis has not been done for the 2008 data for Northwest Indiana, in particular, it would be speculation on our part to attribute reductions to the economic downturn,” Hartsock said. “What we do know based on information available to us for the state is that industry is doing a better job reducing pollutants than what the decrease in economic activity would account for.”

Lake County polluters reduced their releases by 31.1 percent compared to 2007, Porter County polluters by 5.8 percent. Lake and Porter counties released 36.9 million pounds of toxics — 17.6 percent of the total 209.3 million pounds released by Indiana facilities.

Four of the 20 counties in the nation that released the most toxic material were in Indiana, according to EPA.

The Air I Breath: The Significance of EPA’s Challenge to BP’s Air Permit

November 2nd, 2009 No comments

As you can see I have been a skeptic of the EPA”s recent challenge to BP’s air permit.

<fb comment> a small victory. The EPA has order Indiana to rewrite the permit, essentially discrediting Indiana’s ability to manage their environmental resources. All I see this doing is fortifying a poorly written permit against future disputes. In the end BP is the beneficiary of the action</fb comment>

Noah Hall, author of the Great Lakes Law blog is beginning to clear me of my skepticism.

via [ Great Lakes Law ]

Tar sands oil gives coal some competition for the title of dirtiest fuel.  From mining to refining to burning, tar sands oil is an environmental disaster.  The Great Lakes is becoming a center for refining imported tar sands oil, which comes from western Canada.  As a result, refinery pollution is threatening our water and our communities.  BP’s Whiting Refinery on the shores of Lake Michigan in Indiana has become a focal point in the legal fight to stop tar sands pollution in the region.  Environmental groups scored a victory earlier this month when the EPA objected to an Indiana permit for air pollution from the refinery.  Meleah Geertsma, an attorney and public health expert with the Environmental Law and Policy Center in Chicago, was involved in the fight against the air pollution from the tar sands refinery, and wrote this guest post on the victory and what it means in the fight against tar sands pollution in the Great Lakes.

On October 16, in a move that could significantly improve air quality for the Great Lakes region, the U.S. EPA sent a clear message to the oil industry that the federal agency is serious about air pollution from refining – especially the processing of dirty Canadian tar sands crude. EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson on that day issued an order objecting to a permit granted by Indiana to BP’s Whiting Refinery, located on the shores of Lake Michigan. At the heart of Administrator Jackson’s order is a concern that numerous potential sources of air pollution are going uncounted and uncontrolled. And that the industry is ignoring or downplaying the air pollution impacts of processing the much heavier, dirtier Canadian tar sands crude, a crude that contains high levels of sulfur and toxic metals.

The BP operating permit was issued to enable a significant increase in the processing of heavy tar sands crude at BP’s Whiting, Indiana facility. However, the permit allowed BP to expand without installing so-called “best available control technology,” on the premise that increases in air pollution from the expansion would be balanced by decreases in pollution from the existing refinery. Such a trade-off of increases and decreases is referred to in air permitting as “netting.”

In response, several environmental groups and individual citizens filed a petition with U.S. EPA, asking the agency to object due to BP’s and the agency’s failure to count numerous potential sources of increased air pollution. Among these sources are increased operations of certain equipment needed to process larger amounts of Canadian crude, as well as greater levels of sulfur and toxics in the crude itself.

Great Lakes Law: Environmental groups and EPA step up the fight against tar sands oil refinery pollution in the Great Lakes.

The Air I Breath: EPA Orders IDEM’s {Regional Rats} to Rewrite BP Air Permit

October 20th, 2009 No comments

I wonder to what extent the EPA’s recent order that “IDEM rewrite BP’s air permit” can be said to challenge IDEM’s ability to properly discharge its responsibility and manage the state’s environmental resources?

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is forcing the Indiana Department of Environmental Management to rewrite part of the air permit for BPs Whiting refinery. EPA said BP?and IDEM left out several sources of air pollution that need to be counted when determining what kind of air pollution control equipment is necessary

EPA: BP permit must be rewritten :: Post-Tribune.

The Bucket Brigade

August 6th, 2009 No comments

[ Community Global Monitor ]

Betsy Dent of Calumet Project with one of the Buckets

The Bucket Brigade is the brain child of Denny Larson of the Community Global Monitor.

“The “Bucket Brigade” is a simple, but effective, tool that dozens of communities are using to find out for themselves what chemicals are in the air.  Armed with their own data and information about the health effects of chemicals, these communities are winning impressive reductions of pollution, safety improvements and increasing enforcement of environmental laws.

The “Bucket Brigade” is named for a easy to use air sampling device housed inside a 5 gallon plastic bucket.  The “Bucket” was developed in Northern California in 1995 by an environmental engineering firm in order to simplify and reduce the costs of widely accepted methods used for testing toxic gases in the air”

The Bucket Brigade was brought to East Chicago by the Calumet Project to help monitor the discharges from the construction of a confined deposal facility (CDF), the dredging of the Indiana Harbor Shipping Canal (arguably the most polluted waterway in the country), and the long term management of the site. They have also looked at BP discharges.

Post-Tribune ]

A group of East Chicago residents hope to convince the government to do better air quality monitoring in their neighborhood and will lobby for better pollution control.

The so-called Calumet Project Bucket Brigade took an air sample on July 10 near the intersection of 129th Street and Indianapolis Boulevard in East Chicago. The result was 14 chemicals. Five of them — acrolein, acrylonitrile, carbon disulfide, styrene and 1,4-dichlorobenzene — registered well above what other states list as “levels of concern.”

The Air I Breath: Community Groups Give Notice to BP

June 6th, 2009 No comments

[ NWI Times ]

CROWN POINT | The Hammond-based Calumet Project and the California-based Global Community Monitor, have notified BP Whiting Refinery of their intention to sue under citizen suit provisions of the federal Clean Air Act.

The potential lawsuit will press for penalties that could total more than $30 million.

The Air I Breath: BP Cited for High Benzene Releases

June 5th, 2009 1 comment

[ Post Trib ]

By Gitte Laasby, Post-Tribune staff writer (The only legitimate Environmental Reporter in the Region)

For nearly six years, BP’s Whiting refinery emitted cancer-causing benzene at its wastewater treatment plant without proper air pollution control equipment, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

BP in Whiting cited for high benzene release :: Local News :: Post-Tribune.

There is a saying “You are what you eat.” But what about what you breath or drink?

What bothers me intensely about this report is that the USEPA allowed these releases to continue for six years before citing BP on such an egregious violation the of the Clean Air Act. That is six years to which MY NEW BORN CHILDREN were chronically exposed. And the USEPA knew every day that they were being exposed and did NOTHING. This is a toxin that we know one part per billion can cause cancer.

Additionally, during the permitting process for the BP Expansion these past several years the USEPA never disclosed these violations, but defended and promoted BP’s clean record of good environmental stewardship in the region. Consequently, East Chicago awarded BP $165 million in tax abatements. All while the EPA held evidence that BP was exposing the residence to such high levels of toxins.

UPDATE (On the Wire):

WASHINGTON | Members of Congress’ Great Lakes Caucus are asking the Environmental Protection Agency to review all of BP’s emissions after reports that the BP Whiting Refinery has been violating clean air standards.

In a letter, 18 members of Congress from Illinois, New York, Wisconsin and Michigan asked EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson to closely examine BP’s emissions.

BP’s facility in Whiting is the largest oil refinery in the Midwest. Its critics say it also is a large source of pollution in the Great Lakes region.

MORE:View the EPA’s violation notice to BP.

Members of the caucus tell Jackson that the Great Lakes are “the crown jewel of our nation” and should be protected. They say the EPA should ensure that BP fully complies with the environmental protection laws and permits.

The EPA on Tuesday cited the Whiting Refinery for violating federal air standards by releasing a cancer-causing toxin in waste from 2003 to 2008, which at times reached 16 times the acceptable limit, EPA officials said.

I find it curious that there are no East Chicago Elected Officials asking for answers? Our Mayor and City Council represent the health and welfare of Citizens of East Chicago who live under the plumb of BP’s violations. And where is the voice of the City’s Health Commissioner on this issue? Of any population East Chicagoan’s are the most exposed and their children the most vulnerable – not the Residents of Illinois, Wisconsin or Michigan. And yet their representatives understand the gravity of the violation and the threat it poses to the health and welfare of the populations they represent. They are the ones asking for answer while East Chicago and Northwest Indiana Elected Officials remain silent.

Why the Silence?

This is a serious violation of the clear Air act and our Elected Officials ought to be associated with the asking for answers.