New federal data shows Maine industries released an increased amount of toxic chemicals into the environment in 2004, while emissions declined in the rest of New England.
The U.S. Environmental Protection on Wednesday released the results of its Toxic Release Inventory for 2004. This information is released each year to the public and includes discharges into the air, water and land. Nationwide, discharges have declined significantly since the disclosure was first mandated in 1988, the EPA says.
During 2004, the latest year for which data are available, about 24.7 million pounds of chemicals were released in the six New England states, a reduction of about 700,000 pounds. In Maine, releases in 2004 were about 9.6 million pounds, an increase of about 1.1 million pounds.
The top five chemicals released to the environment during 2004 in Maine were: methanol (3.1 million pounds); nitrate compounds (2.7 million pounds); manganese compounds (1 million pounds); ammonia (763,412 pounds) and zinc compounds (644,522 pounds).
Maine’s five largest on- and off-site environmental releases reported under TRI for 2004 were: McCain Foods USA, Easton (2.1 million pounds); International Paper Co., Jay (1.7 million); Domtar Maine Corp., Baileyville (1.3 million pounds); Meadwestvaco Oxford Corp., Rumford (1.2 million pounds) and S.D. Warren Co. Sappi Fine Paper, Skowhegan (1.2 million pounds).