Toxic Releases Down in State

by Categorized: Environment Date:

Connecticut companies released 2.7 million pounds of chemicals into the state’s air, land and waterways in 2010 – and that may be the good news.

The discharges, equaling the weight of about a dozen schoolbuses, represent a significant reduction from earlier years, according to recently issued data from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

About half the chemicals were released into the air, primarily through smokestacks. About 11 percent of the discharges – nearly 300,000 pounds – were into surface water.

Nitrate compounds, a common byproduct of industrial wastewater treatment, was the most commonly discharged pollutant. The company releasing the most pollutants was AES Thames, which operated a coal-fired power plant in Montville. AES Thames filed for bankruptcy last year and is dismantling the plant.

Discharges statewide in 2010 dropped 19 percent from a year earlier. Nationally, nearly 4 billion pounds of toxic chemicals were released into the environment in 2010, according to the EPA, a 16 percent increase from 2009.

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