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Environmental NJ report: 8.5 million pounds of toxins in waterways.

Industrial facilities dumped 8.5 million pounds of toxic chemicals into New Jersey's waterways, making New Jersey's waterways the 12th worst in the nation, according to a new report released by Environment New Jersey. Wasting Our Waterways: Industrial Toxic Pollution and the Unfulfilled Promise of the Clean Water Act also reports that 226 million pounds of toxic chemicals were discharged into 1,400 waterways across the country.

The Environment New Jersey report documents and analyzes the dangerous levels of pollutants discharged to America's waters by compiling toxic chemical releases reported to the U.S. EPA's Toxics Release Inventory for 2010, the most recent data available.

Major findings of the report include:

--The Delaware River is ranked 5th in the nation for highest amount of total toxic discharges, with 6.7 million pounds discharged in 2010.

--DuPont Chambers Works was the biggest polluter in New Jersey, dumping 5.4 million pounds of toxic pollution into the Delaware River. Furthermore, DuPont was the 4th biggest polluter in the country.

--ConocoPhillips--Bayway Refinery was the 18th biggest polluter in the country, dumping over 2.4 million pounds of toxic pollution into the Morses Creek, which was ranked 19th in the nation for highest amount of total toxic discharges.

Among the toxic chemicals discharged by facilities are arsenic, mercury, and benzene. In order to curb the toxic pollution threatening the Delaware River and other state waterways, Environment New Jersey recommends the following:

1. Pollution Prevention: Industrial facilities should reduce their toxic discharges to waterways by switching from hazardous chemicals to safer alternatives.

2. Protect all waters: The Obama administration should finalize guidelines and conduct a rulemaking to clarify that the Clean Water Act applies to all of our waterways--including the 4,087 miles of streams in New Jersey and over 4.2 million New Jerseyans' drinking water for which jurisdiction under the Clean Water Act has been called into question as a result of two polluter-driven Supreme Court decisions in the last decade.

3. Tough permitting and enforcement: EPA and NJDEP should issue permits with tough, numeric limits for each type of toxic pollution discharged, ratchet down those limits over time, and enforce those limits with credible penalties, not just warning letters.

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Publication:Hazardous Waste Superfund Alert
Date:Apr 20, 2012
Words:367
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