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State advances in reducing toxins

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The federal Environmental Protection Agency’s most recent data on toxic chemical releases from the reporting year 2012 show the amounts of pollutants released in Connecticut decreased from 2011.

The air bore the burden of the releases: about four times the toxic tonnage that went into state waters.

The New Haven Register, reporting out of Boston, cited Cytec Industries of Wallingford, Covidient L.P. of North Haven and Latex International of Shelton as among the companies reporting the largest quantity of on- and off-site environmental releases in the state.

But overall, the number of chemical releases in 2011 was down in 2012. Nitrate compounds are still the highest-released chemical, but nickel dropped six positions in rank from 2011 to 2012. Other chemicals have seen a similar decrease.

“People deserve to know what toxic chemicals are being used and released in their backyards and what companies are doing to prevent pollution,” EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy said in a press release.

This was the first year for the reporting of hydrogen sulfide, according to tje release. No Connecticut facilities reported emitting hydrogen sulfide for 2012.

During 2012, 19.2 million pounds of chemicals were released in the six New England states, a reduction of about 501,393 pounds or a 2.55 percent decrease. In Connecticut, 314 facilities reported in 2012 approximately 2.15 million pounds – a decrease of 8,589 pounds. Approximately 41.3 percent of releases in Connecticut were emitted to the air in 2012 and approximately 10.5 percent of in-state releases were to surface water.

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