South Carolinas coal-burning power plants belch out more toxic air pollution than their counterparts in 38 other states, according to a report released Wednesday by environmentalists.
The Palmetto State ranks 11th in the Toxic 20, a list of states that released the most toxic air pollution in 2009, the Natural Resources Defense Council says.
Toxic air pollution includes mercury that has rained back to earth and tainted fish across the Lowcountry, as well as gases that help form soot particles that worsen asthma.
The NRDC findings are part of a national campaign by conservation groups to raise awareness about power plant pollution as Congress debates changes to pending clean air rules, including mercury. The report was done in conjunction with Physicians for Social Responsibility.
Power plants are the biggest industrial toxic air polluters in our country, putting children and families at risk by dumping deadly and dangerous poisons into the air we breathe, the NRDCs Dan Lashof said in a news release. Tougher standards are long overdue. Members of Congress who consider blocking toxic pollution safeguards should understand that this literally will cost American children and families their health and lives.