Toxic pollutants in state decline; Groton firm among 2011 Top 10

The Environmental Protection Agency's Toxic Release Inventory for Connecticut 2011 showed overall releases of pollutants to the environment have decreased since 2010.

Among the companies in the state with the highest releases was PCC Structurals, located on Poquonnock Road in Groton, which is part of Precision Castparts Corp. The manufacturer of castings in stainless steel, nickel-based superalloy, titanium and aluminum for aerospace, armament, automotive, medical, nuclear, locomotive and other industrial application ranked forth highest in the state, and was the only company in New London County on the EPA's top 10 list for Connecticut.

During 2011, the latest year for which data are available, approximately 18.96 million pounds of chemicals were released in the six New England states, a reduction of about 1,690,960 pounds, the EPA said in a news release. In Connecticut, 310 facilities reported in 2011 approximately 2.08 million pounds, a decrease of 691,571 pounds. Approximately 44.6 percent of releases in Connecticut were emitted to the air during 2011. Approximately 11.6 percent of releases in Connecticut were discharged to surface water that year.

"EPA is proud of our long-term commitment of putting accessible, meaningful information in the hands of the American people so we can be informed about chemicals found in our own communities and neighborhoods," said Curt Spalding, regional administrator of EPA's New England office. "Environmental data such as TRI is fundamental to helping people protect the health of their families and themselves, and provides communities with valuable information on toxic chemical releases."

Reporting under TRI does not indicate illegal discharges of pollutants to the environment. EPA works closely with states to provide regulatory oversight of facilities that generate pollution to the nation's air, land and water. Effective review and permitting programs work to ensure that the public and the environment are not subjected to unhealthful levels of pollution, even as agencies work to further reduce emissions of chemicals to the environment.

The top 10 chemicals released to the Connecticut environment on- and off-site during 2011 in Connecticut were: nitrate, zinc, copper and antimony compounds; hydrochlorofluorocarbons; nickel; dichloromethane; ammonia; N-butyl alcohol and toluene, the EPA said.

j.benson@theday.com

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