Ohio is No. 1 on toxic list

Staff report


Ohio is the worst state when it comes to toxic air pollution from coal and oil-fired power plans, according to analysis by the Natural Resources Defense Council, a private environmental action group.

“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,” said Dan Lashof, climate center director at NRDC, in a release. “Tougher standards are long overdue.”

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is seeking to update public health protections, which would help curb the air-pollution problem.

But one of the nation’s biggest polluters, Columbus-based American Electric Power, has drafted legislation to block the EPA’s efforts, according to the NRDC.

The EPA says that toxic reductions required by the pending “Mercury and Air Toxics” standard would save as many as 17,000 lives every year by 2015.

Standards are expected to be finalized in November; the agency is taking public comments on its proposal until Aug. 4.

Other poor Midwest performers on the “Toxic 20” list include Pennsylvania (No. 2), Indiana (No. 6) and Michigan (No. 7).

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