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: Ranking of Top Corporate Air Polluters: Toxic 100 Index



From: ENN
Published August 12, 2005 12:00 AM

Ranking of Top Corporate Air Polluters: Toxic 100 Index

AMHERST, Massachusetts — Researchers at the Political Economy Research Institute at the University of Massachusetts (PERI) announced that their ranking of top corporate air polluters will now be called the Toxic 100.


The complete list can be found here: Toxic 100.


“The Toxic 100 informs consumers and shareholders which US corporations release the most toxic pollutants into our air,” says James K. Boyce, director of PERI's environment program. “We measure not just how many pounds of pollutants are released, but which are the most toxic and how many people are at risk. People have a right to know about toxic hazards to which they are exposed. Legislators need to understand the effects of pollution on their constituents.”


The Toxic 100 index is based on air releases of hundreds of toxic chemicals from industrial facilities across the United States. The rankings take into account not only the quantity of releases, but also the relative toxicity of different chemicals, nearby population, and other factors such as prevailing winds and height of smokestacks. The Toxic 100 index identifies the top air polluters among all corporations that appear in the Fortune 500, Forbes 500, and Standard & Poor's 500 lists of the country's largest firms. The Toxic 100's top five are GE, Georgia-Pacific, Eastman Kodak, Boeing, and US Steel.


The data on chemical releases come from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Toxics Release Inventory (TRI) for the year 2000. The TRI data have been widely cited in press accounts that identify the “top polluters” in various states and localities. But prior reports were subject to three key limitations:

--TRI data do not take account of the numbers of people affected by toxic releases ” for example, the difference between facilities that are upwind from densely populated urban areas as opposed to those located far from population centers.


--TRI data are reported on a facility-by-facility basis, without combining the different plants owned by the same corporation to get a picture of overall corporate performance.

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