- WEB EXCLUSIVE
- PE COFFEEHAUS
The EPA stated in April that pollution-causing chemicals released into the environment fell by over 4 percent from 2003 to 2004. The declines were led by metal mining, electric utility and hazardous waste industries.
According to the agency's 2004 Toxic Release Inventory report, overall chemical releases fell from 4.44 billion pounds in 2003 to 4.24 billion pounds in 2004. The EPA noted that PCB releases were down 92 percent, dioxin and its compounds were reduced 58 percent and mercury was 16 percent lower.
Environmental groups were quick to respond that the report also showed that toxic releases to U.S. waterways increased by 10 percent. They also pointed out that the EPA has proposed reducing reporting requirements in the future.