March 27, 2009

Coal Plants Responsible for Bulk of SC Pollution

This week the Environmental Protection Agency released state air pollution data for South Carolina.

According to an article in the Post & Courier:

Industrial plants in South Carolina pumped more than 46 million pounds of chemicals into the air in 2007, with coal-fired electric generators, paper mills and chemical companies responsible for the bulk of the pollution, new data by the Environmental Protection Agency shows.

Six of the top ten air pollution emitters were coal plants, including SCE&G facilities in Wateree and Berkeley counties, a Post and Courier Watchdog analysis of the EPA's Toxic Release Inventory shows. Both released more than 3 million pounds of pollutants, mostly hydrochloric and sulfuric acids, which contribute to acid rain.


The data is self-reported by polluters to the EPA. Stronger rules for reporting instituted by the Obama Administration are likely to lead to higher numbers next year.

Coal plants lead the way in polluting our state's air and water. Building new plants will only increase the burden on our health and our environment.

Top 10 Industrial Polluters

Source County Emissions(pounds)
SCE&G Wateree Station Richland 3,334,003
SCE&G Williams Station Berkeley 3,042,473
International Paper Georgetown 1,954,087
Smurfit-Stone Container Florence 1,954,087
SCE&G Canadys Station Colleton 1,910,594
Intertape Polymer Richland 1,877,486
Santee Cooper Jefferies Station Berkeley 1,567,757
Santee Cooper Winyah Station Georgetown 1,541,087
Duke Energy Lee Station Anderson 1,510,859
MeadWestvaco (now KapStone) Charleston 1,430,604

Review the EPA data for yourself here (EPA 2007 TRI state database).

View a South Carolina pollution fact sheet here (EPA 2007 TRI State Fact Sheet). Check your own county's pollution levels.

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