Mississippi makes list of "Toxic 20" - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Mississippi makes list of "Toxic 20"

Posted: Updated:
JACKSON, MS (Mississippi News Now) -

You may not be able to see it, but if you live or breathe in Mississippi, the air around you may be a little more toxic than you think. That's according to a list of states known as the "Toxic 20", put out by the Natural Resources Defense Council.

On that list, number one being the worst, the Magnolia State comes in at number 17.

"Make no mistake about it, we have a long way to go to reduce toxic air pollution from power plants," John Walke, the council's clean air director.

Walke says the list was determined by examining the 2010 reported toxic emissions to the Environmental Protection Agency. Mississippi wasn't even on the list last year, based on numbers from 2009 showing two million pounds of industrial toxins. In just one year, however, that amount doubled to nearly 4 million pounds. That's a one hundred percent increase.

"That is frankly astonishing and is not matched by any other state in the inventory that we looked at. There's clearly something significant going on," said Walke.

To find out what's going, WLBT asked the Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality. However, no one at the department has responded to requests for comment, but did confirm they received the report and were reviewing it.

Walke says he has an idea of what could be happening, pointing to new activity.

"That's the more likely explanation, a new plant or the increased activity levels from the existing fleet of generators," said Walke.

Nationally the report does show a 19 percent reduction in toxic emissions from 2009 to 2010. Walke says that's in large part thanks to better pollution controls put in place by power plants and a transition to natural gas use instead of coal.

Even with the reduction, Walke says health concerns are still lingering in the air and is calling on the EPA to issue new standards in air quality.

"We're talking about curbing toxic pollution that harms millions of Americans each year," said Walke.

Late Thursday afternoon, the Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality issued a statement saying an increase in hydrochloric acid appears to be the cause for that result and could be based on the type of coal used that year.

The department assures the state has good air quality.

The Natural Resources Defense Council is even coming out against U.S. Senators Thad Cochran and Roger Wicker for supporting a measure in Congress to repeal the Mercury and Air Toxics Standards (MATS).

Copyright 2012 WLBT. All rights reserved.

  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • Dismembered human corpse identified, suspected killer in jail

    Dismembered human corpse identified, suspected killer in jail

    Tuesday, September 16 2014 6:10 AM EDT2014-09-16 10:10:09 GMT
    (WMC) - Investigators have identified the man whose head they found inside a black garbage bag after police believe he'd likely been dead for more than a week. Police say the victim has been identifiedMore >>
    Investigators have identified the man whose head they found inside a black garbage bag after police believe he'd likely been dead for more than a week.More >>
  • Ocean Springs mom warning parents about app

    Ocean Springs mom warning parents about app

    Tuesday, September 16 2014 10:00 AM EDT2014-09-16 14:00:09 GMT
    An Ocean Springs mom is sending a warning to South Mississippi parents. Katrina Johnson wants every parent to be aware of an app that she says is being used by many students to spread hate.More >>
    An Ocean Springs mom is sending a warning to South Mississippi parents. Katrina Johnson wants every parent to be aware of an app that she says is being used by many students to spread hate. Johnson discovered the posts last week, and she says what she read would make parents cringe.More >>
  • 'Party mansion' owner convicted of tax and healthcare fraud

    'Party mansion' owner convicted of tax and healthcare fraud

    Friday, September 12 2014 12:38 PM EDT2014-09-12 16:38:35 GMT
    File photoFile photo
    A former Raleigh resident, known for the wild parties held at his “party mansion” in North Raleigh, was sentenced to more than 10 years in prison for tax fraud, healthcare fraud and money laundering crimes, according to a United States Department of Justice release.More >>
    A former Raleigh resident, known for the wild parties held at his “party mansion” in North Raleigh, was sentenced to more than 10 years in prison for tax fraud, healthcare fraud and money laundering crimes, according to a United States Department of Justice release.More >>
Powered by WorldNow

208 DeBuys Road
Biloxi, MS 39531
(228) 896-1313

FCC Public File
EEO Report
Closed Captioning

All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Worldnow and WLOX. All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.