NW states released more toxics in 2010

Jan 5, 2012

Industrial facilities in Oregon, Washington, and Idaho released more toxic material in 2010 than the year before, according to the federal toxics inventory out today.

The three Northwest states had seen declines in toxic releases before 2010. But that year, the releases started to climb. Washington released 27 percent more than in 2009.

Oregon released 20 percent more. And according to the federal report, Idaho is responsible for more toxics than Oregon and Washington combined – and its toxic inventory went up 17 percent in 2010. Kelly Huynh with the Environmental Protection Agency's Seattle office says the Northwest increases mirror a national trend.

"Certainly the economy plays a part in that. A lot of facilities have increased their production. Some facilities are just finding better and more accurate ways of calculating the amounts released to the environment," Huynh said.

The sources of toxic pollution differ from state to state. State and federal regulations govern the disposal and release of the toxic materials tracked in the federal report.