Southern California environment news and trends

Toxic discharge in California waterways measured

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An eye-opening new study by Environment California finds that 2.6 million pounds of toxic chemicals were released into the state’s waterways in 2010. The Santa Monica Bay ranked 2nd in the state for the most toxic discharge at 750,000 pounds. That number was only surpassed by the San Pablo Bay, which clocked just over 1 million pounds of toxic discharge.

“California’s waterways are a polluter’s paradise right now," said Sean Carroll, a federal field associate with Environment California in the Pacific Palisades Patch. "Polluters dump 2.6 million pounds of toxic chemicals into California’s lakes, rivers and streams every year. We must turn the tide of toxic pollution by restoring Clean Water Act protections to our waterways.”

Among the offending toxins include Arsenic, Mercury and Benzene, which have been linked to cancer, reproductive disorders and other health and developmental issues.

Environment California recommends a three-part plan to help curb toxic discharge, starting with the obvious and reducing the amount generated by the polluting industrial facilities. From there they suggest that President Obama clarify the Clean Water Act, and that the EPA and state agencies set and enforce more stringent limits when issuing permits for such companies.

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