August 4, 2017

Toxic air on Virginia's Tidewater Peninsula?

You might think before you take a deep breath in James City or Yorktown Counties. Or in a few other locales too, such as Chesapeake, Newport News and Isle of Wight.

Sierra Club Virginia just released their annual report, naming the top 25 Virginia cities with the highest toxic air emissions. And James City County earned the dubious honor of 12th most toxic air, Yorktown 18th. Not the kind of honor roll to boast about.

The report, using 2015 EPA data, focuses on the major industrial corporations (and federal facilities) that hurt our air. And that doesn't even include coal particulates or auto emissions that are not reported. For example, Ball Metal Beverage Container Corporation released more than 400 thousand pounds of toxic chemicals in 2015. A total of more than 2.4 million total pounds of the "stuff" in five Hampton Roads areas; 19.5 million pounds of toxic chemicals throughout the entire state of Virginia!

On the positive side, James City's toxic air went down by 6 percent since 2014.

The sad thing is that many of these toxic-spewing industries are near poorer neighborhoods. Environmental Justice again loses.