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October 17, 2000

Pound by Pound and Category by Category,
Mobile County Led Alabama Counties in Toxic Emissions in 1998

by Edmund Tsang

Michael Ludder of the Legal Environmental Assistance Foundation (LEAF) said he used the Toxic Release Inventory (TRI) data that were released by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) last spring, and he has the 1998 data broken down to the county level. He then sent the results to environmentalist groups as well as the media to alert them to the state of the environment in Alabama. LEAF is based in Tallahassee, FL.

According to Ludder, in 1998 Alabama ranked 12th in the nation in total toxic releases, and first among the southeastern states of Florida, Georgia, North and South Carolina, Kentucky, Tennessee, and Mississippi. "Alabama is considered a rural state," said Ludder in a telephone interview last week. "This is certainly a cause for concern." Mobile County ranked 32nd among counties in the U.S. in total toxic releases, Ludder said.

tri.gif - 5821 BytesIn Mobile County, the total amount of toxic releases has been declining in the past decade, from 60.6 million pounds in 1989 to 27.3 million pounds in 1998. (See the chart) The 1998 data represented an increase from the previous year, because beginning in 1998, utilities such as Alabama Power Company, which previously were exempted from reporting TRI, were required to follow the federal environmental legislation. When the 8.58 million pounds of toxic releases from the Barry Plant of Alabama Power Company were subtracted from the 1998 data, then a total of 18.8 million pounds of toxic substances were released, which was lower than the 1997 toxic releases of 23.5 million pounds.

Casi Callaway, executive director of Mobile Bay Watch, Inc., an environmentalist group, told The Harbinger in a telephone interview last week that "while the numbers are declining slightly, it is still a concern to see smoke-stack industries being recruited that add to toxic emissions." Mobile Bay Watch, Inc. is calling for a moratorium to adding polluting industries until a countywide air quality study has been completed.

"The air quality study is going to happen soon," Callaway said. "A request for proposal for the entire project will be announced within the week, and a vendor chosen by December 1. We expect air monitoring will begin on March 1, 2001."

Accordis Cellulosic Fibers, formerly Courtauld Fibers, lead Mobile County in toxic releases, as it did in years past, when the community-right-to-know portion of federal environmental legislation became effective in 1989. In 1998, 10.6 million pounds of carbon disulfide, a neuro toxin, was released by Accordis. Second on the list of top toxic releases in 1998 is Alabama Power Company, which released 5.6 million pounds into the air, 20,000 pounds into the surface water, and 2.9 million pounds into the land of Mobile County.

In 1998 in Mobile County, a total of 21.2 million pounds of toxic substances were released in the air, 724,000 pounds in surface water, and 3.5 million pounds on land, with an additional 1.96 million pounds of toxic releases transferred to sites outside of Mobile County.


TOP TEN COUNTIES IN ALABAMA
RANKED BY TOTAL TOXIC RELEASES, 1998

Rank

County

Total On-Site Releases

Total On- & Off-Site Releases

1

Mobile

25,438,250

27,398,148

2

Jeffferson

19,218,515

21,226,197

3

Morgan

4,643,121

13,457,095

4

Sumter

12,061,314

12,228,340

5

Shelby

7,495,478

8,965,619

6

Colbert

6,637,000

6,683,053

7

Walker

6,035,511

6,035,511

8

Jackson

5,638,800

5,920,690

9

Greene

5,366,957

5,366,957

10

Russell

5,047,793

5,048,236

Prepared by LEAF based on US EPA TRI Data


TOP TEN FACILITIES, MOBILE COUNTY
RANKED BY TOTAL TOXIC RELEASES, 1998

Rank

Facility Name

Total Releases (Est.-Pounds)

1

Acordis Cellulosic Fibers Inc.

11,098,200

2

Alabama Power Co. - Barry Plant

8,586,564

3

Kimberly-Clark Corp.

2,165369

4

Mobile Energy Services Co.

1,328,109

5

International Paper, Mobile Mill

1,036,135

6

Zeneca Inc. Zeneca Ag. Products

653,193

7

UOP LLC

481,515

8

Creanova Inc.

260,189

9

Mobile Pulley & Machine Works

251,951

10

Atlantic Marine Inc.

152,086

Prepared by LEAF based on US EPA TRI Data


TOP 13 TOXIC RELEASES IN MOBILE COUNTY - AIR, 1998

Chemical Name

Facility

Amount (Ext. Pounds)

     

Carbon Disulfide

Acordis Cellulosic Fibers Inc.

10,659,000

 

Akzo Nobel Chemicals, Inc.

58,000

 

Subtotal:

10,717,000

     

Hydrochloric Acid Aerosols

Alabama Power Co. Barry

4,133,019

 

Mobile Energy Services

777,429

 

Kerr McGees

92,753

 

International Paper

64,000

 

Subtotal:

5,067,201

     

Methanol

Kimberly Clark

850,000

 

International Paper

475,000

 

Mobile Energy Services

118,052

 

Celanese Chemicals Inc.

73,872

 

Subtotal:

1,516,924

     

Hydrogen Fluoride

Alabama Power Co.

858,991

     

Sulfuric Acid Aerosols

Alabama Power Co. Barry

631,610

 

International Paper

58,000

 

Mobile Energy Services

80,470

 

Subtotal:

770,080

     

Chloroform

Kimberly Clark

700,000

 

Subtotal:

700,000

     

Ammonia

Iinternational Paper

64,750

 

Mobile Energy Services

90,421

 

Kimberly Clark

77,000

 

Cytec Inds. Inc.

61,870

 

Subtotal:

294,041

     

Xylene

Atlantic Marine

88,925

     

Isobutyraldehyde

IB Nitrogen, Inc.

59,425

     

Methyl Methacrylate

Elf Atochem

59,091

     

Triethylamine

Armstrong World Inds.

58,040

     

Methy Ethyl Ketone

Ocal Thomas & Betts

50,427

     

Formaldehyde

Armstrong World Inds.

45,540

     
 

Total:

20,285,685

Compiled by The Harbinger based on data provided by LEAF from US EPA TRI Data, 1998.


TOP 15 TOXIC RELEASES IN MOBILE COUNTY - SURFACE WATER, 1998

Chemical Name

Facility

Amount (Ext. Pounds)

 

 

 

Methanol

Kimberly Clark

310,000

 

Zeneca Ag. Prods.

1,869

 

Subtotal

311,869

 

 

 

Nitrate Compound

UOP LLC

98,000

 

Degussa Corp.

56,210

 

International Paper

23,000

 

Subtotal

177,210

 

 

 

Ammonia

International Paper

34,000

 

Kimberly Clark

29,000

 

Degussa Corp.

4,873

 

Celanese Chemicals, Inc.

4,300

 

Subtotal

72,173

 

 

 

Manganese Compound

International Paper

71,000

 

Alabama Power Co.-Barry

3,563

 

Subtotal

74,563

 

 

 

Chloroform

Kimberly Clark

23,000

 

 

 

Zinc Compound

Accordis Cellulosic Fiber

14,100

 

International Paper

4,500

 

Alabama Power Co.-Barry

1,998

 

Subtotal

20,598

 

 

 

Arsenic Compound

Alabama Power Co.-Barry

7,454

 

 

 

Acetaldehyde

Kimberly Clark

5,000

 

International Paper

2,000

 

Subtotal

7,000

 

 

 

Copper Compound

Alabama Power Co.-Barry

5,333

 

 

 

Certain Glycol Ethers

International Power

2,600

 

 

 

Potassium Dimethdi-thiocarbamate

International Paper

2,400

 

 

 

Barium Compound

Alabama Power Company

2,121

 

 

 

Carbon Disulfide

Accordis Cellulosic Fiber

2,100

 

 

 

Acifluorfen, Sodium Salt

Zeneca Ag. Prods.

1,943

 

 

 

Methanol

Zeneca Ag. Prods.

1,869

 

 

 

 

Total

704,779

Compiled by The Harbinger based on data provided by LEAF from US EPA TRI Data, 1998.


TOP 10 TOXIC RELEASES IN MOBILE COUNTY- SURFACE LAND, 1998

Chemical Name

Facility

Amount (Ext. Pounds)

     

Barium Compound

Alabama Power Co.-Barry

1,805,181

 

International Paper

24,000

 

Subtotal

1,829,181

     

Zinc Compound

Accordis Cellulosic Fiber

420,000

 

Alabama Power Co.-Barry

150,156

 

International Paper

9,000

 

Subtotal

579,156

     

Manganese Compound

Alabama Power Co.-Barry

219,509

 

International Paper

120,000

 

Subtotal

239,509

     

Chromium Compound

Alabama Power Co.-Barry

187,344

     

Copper Compound

Alabama Power Co.-Barry

169,815

     

Nickel Compound

Alabama Power Co.-Barry

151,562

     

Arsenic Compound

Alabama Power Co.-Barry

81,473

     

Cobalt Compound

Alabama Power Co.-Barry

80,419

     

Lead Compound

Alabama Power Co.-Barry

64,589

     

Beryllium Compound

Alabama Power Co.-Barry

17,877

     
 

Total

3,400,925

Compiled by The Harbinger based on data provided by LEAF from US EPA TRI Data, 1998.


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