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Indiana Ranks Worst For Chemicals Released Into Waterways

Environment America says Indiana releases 27 million pounds of toxic chemicals into its waterways in 2010.

Ohio River

Photo: Wayne Hsieh (Flickr)

Environment America says AK Steel is releasing large amounts of nitrates into the Ohio River, but the company says it complies with all EPA regulations.

A national environmental advocacy group says Indiana ranks first in the nation for the amount of toxic chemicals poured into its waters in 2010. Environment America released the finding in a recent report based on data companies must report to the Environmental Protection Agency.

Environment America spokesperson Shelley Vinyard says the data included measurements of several chemicals including nickel and mercury.

“Environment America recommends that to fix this problem, industrial polluters should switch from using toxic chemicals to safer alternatives,” she says.

The report named the AK Steel plant in Rockport as one of the primary sources of the dumping.

Steel companies traditionally use nitric acid to clean their steel. AK Steel spokesperson Barry Racey says the Rockport plant then flushes the by-product into the Ohio River.

Racey says his company’s chemical releases are “within the strict parameters of the EPA regulations.” He points out that the data for the report is only available because AK Steel reports the chemicals to the EPA.

“While we are required to report that, which we do, nitrates are also released into the river through things like agricultural runoff in far greater amounts than from our plant,” Racey says. “We just have to report it. They don’t.”

 

Gretchen Frazee

Gretchen Frazee is a reporter/producer for WFIU and WTIU news. Prior to her current role, Frazee worked as the associate online content coordinator for WFIU/WTIU. She graduated from the University of Missouri-Columbia where she studied multimedia journalism and anthropology. You can follow her on Twitter @gretchenfrazee.

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  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Quanta-His-Kim/100003199486642 Quanta-His Kim

    Very true news. The rich and industrialist Indians lost there sense of humor, they are only know how to earn money and how to kill the people.

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