Augusta Free Press

EPA data highlights Virginia polluters

Toxic chemical emissions from Virginia’s largest polluters are on the rise, according to the latest data out from the EPA Toxic Release Inventory (TRI).

The biggest toxic polluter in Virginia is the US Army Radford Ammunition Plant (Radford, Zip Code 24141) with total emissions for 2014 exceeding nine million pounds. The vast majority of these emissions were discharged into the New River. This represented a slight 3% increase in total toxic chemicals released from the previous year.

Meadwestvaco of Virginia Covington Operations (now “WestRock” in Covington, Zip Code 24426), a paper manufacturer, was the next largest emitter. Meadwestvaco emitted over three million pounds of toxic chemicals mostly into the air, a total increase of over 10% compared to 2013.

The chemical manufacturer Honeywell International Inc.’s Hopewell Plant (Hopewell, Zip Code 23860) was the third largest toxic polluter in 2014, releasing just shy of three million pounds of toxic chemicals also mostly into the air. This represented a 7% increase from the prior year.

Dominion’s Chesterfield Power Station (Chesterfield, Zip Code 23836) and International Paper Franklin Mill (Franklin, Zip Code 23237) round out the top five VA biggest toxic polluters respectively, with emissions for both of those facilities around 1.6 million pounds. In 2014 about half of Chesterfield Power Station toxic pollution went into the air and the other half was deposited onsite. The toxic emissions from Chesterfield Power Station increased 5% compared to 2013.  The majority of the International Paper Franklin Mill’s emissions went into the air, and, compared to the previous year, total toxic emissions for this facility decreased 26%.

“There is some good news. Among the states with the most toxic chemical emissions, Virginia’s rank fell from 19th in 2013 to 21st in the latest TRI report from the US EPA.  Although total toxic emissions released from Virginia facilities decreased to 42.4 million lbs., down 9% from 2013, this upward trend of Virginia’s biggest polluters is worrying” said Kendyl Crawford, Conservation Program Coordinator with the Sierra Club Virginia Chapter.

“The fence-line communities across the Commonwealth that are located in close proximity to these facilities deserve to know about the toxic pollution in their neighborhood. For example, the Radford Ammunition Plant dumps eight million pounds of nitrate compounds into the New River. These compounds have been linked to cancer, birth defects and the blood disorder methemoglobinemia” said Crawford.

The pollution totals reflect yearly emissions self-reported by companies, and compiled in the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s annual Toxic Release Inventory. Later this summer the Sierra Club Virginia Chapter will issues its Top Toxic Zip Codes report, a more detailed analysis of toxic releases across the state.

 

Overall Top Polluters in 2014 (in pounds)

1 US ARMY RADFORD ARMY AMMUNITION PLANT.RT 114 RADFORD ARMY AMMUNITION PLANT, RADFORD VIRGINIA 24141 (MONTGOMERY) 9,293,324
2 MEADWESTVACO OF VIRGINIA COVINGTON OPERATIONS.104 E RIVERSIDE ST, COVINGTON VIRGINIA 24426 (COVINGTON (CITY)) 3,484,972
3 HONEYWELL INTERNATIONAL INC HOPEWELL PLANT.905 E RANDOLPH RD, HOPEWELL VIRGINIA 23860 (HOPEWELL (CITY)) 2,948,451
4 CHESTERFIELD POWER STATION.500 COXENDALE RD, CHESTER VIRGINIA 23836 (CHESTERFIELD) 1,821,840
5 INTERNATIONAL PAPER FRANKLIN MILL.34040 UNION CAMP DR, FRANKLIN VIRGINIA 23851 (ISLE OF WIGHT) 1,604,785

 

Top Air Polluters in 2014 (in pounds)

1 MEADWESTVACO OF VIRGINIA COVINGTON OPERATIONS.104 E RIVERSIDE ST, COVINGTON VIRGINIA 24426 (COVINGTON (CITY)) 2,948,990
2 HONEYWELL INTERNATIONAL INC HOPEWELL PLANT.905 E RANDOLPH RD, HOPEWELL VIRGINIA 23860 (HOPEWELL (CITY)) 2,784,891
3 INTERNATIONAL PAPER FRANKLIN MILL.34040 UNION CAMP DR, FRANKLIN VIRGINIA 23851 (ISLE OF WIGHT) 1,446,751
4 JEWELL COKE CO LP.1034 DISMAL RIVER RD, OAKWOOD VIRGINIA 24631 (BUCHANAN) 1,315,394
5 CHESAPEAKE ENERGY CENTER.2701 VEPCO ST, CHESAPEAKE VIRGINIA 23323 (CHESAPEAKE (CITY)) 916,571

Top Surface Water Polluters in 2014 (in pounds)

1 US ARMY RADFORD ARMY AMMUNITION PLANT.RT 114 RADFORD ARMY AMMUNITION PLANT, RADFORD VIRGINIA 24141 (MONTGOMERY) 8,493,781
2 PERDUE FARMS ACCOMAC PROCESSING PLANT.22520 LANKFORD HWY, ACCOMAC VIRGINIA 23301 (ACCOMACK) 1,266,025
3 BABCOCK & WILCOX NUCLEAR OPERATIONS GROUP.1570 MOUNT ATHOS RD, LYNCHBURG VIRGINIA 24504 (CAMPBELL) 575,279
4 HONEYWELL INTERNATIONAL INC HOPEWELL PLANT.905 E RANDOLPH RD, HOPEWELL VIRGINIA 23860 (HOPEWELL (CITY)) 160,559
5 NEW MARKET POULTRY LLC.145 OLD E CROSS RD, NEW MARKET VIRGINIA 22844 (SHENANDOAH) 81,900

Top On-Site Land Polluters in 2014 (in pounds)

1 CHESTERFIELD POWER STATION.500 COXENDALE RD, CHESTER VIRGINIA 23836 (CHESTERFIELD) 978,835
2 VIRGINIA CITY HYBRID ENERGY CENTER.3425 R US SELL CREEK RD, SAINT PAUL VIRGINIA 24283 (WISE) 928,222
3 CLOVER POWER STATION.4091 CLOVER RD, CLOVER VIRGINIA 24534 (HALIFAX) 908,741
4 MEADWESTVACO OF VIRGINIA COVINGTON OPERATIONS.104 E RIVERSIDE ST, COVINGTON VIRGINIA 24426 (COVINGTON (CITY)) 564,255
5 CHESAPEAKE ENERGY CENTER.2701 VEPCO ST, CHESAPEAKE VIRGINIA 23323 (CHESAPEAKE (CITY)) 171,208



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