South Carolina air ranks in "Toxic 20" - WMBFNews.com, Myrtle Beach/Florence SC, Weather

South Carolina air ranks in "Toxic 20"

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SOUTH CAROLINA (WMBF) – Pollution is a red flag when choosing where you should live, but South Carolina isn't usually one of those places you'd think of as "toxic."

A study recently released by the Natural Resource Defense Council has named South Carolina as number 13 out of the top 20 states for exposing residents to toxic air pollution.

The analysis shows that pollution from coal-fired power plants emitted 9.3 million pounds of harmful chemicals in this state in 2010.

"Toxic pollution is already being reduced as a result of EPA's health-protecting standards," said John Walke, NRDC's clean air director. "Thanks to the agency's latest safeguards, millions of children and their families in the states hardest hit by toxic air pollution from power plants will be able to breathe easier.''

South Carolina was not the only southern state to make the "Toxic 20." Those states are listed below:

1. Kentucky

2. Ohio

3. Pennsylvania

4. Indiana

5. West Virginia

6. Florida

7. Michigan

8. North Carolina

9. Georgia

10. Texas

11. Tennessee

12. Virginia

13. South Carolina

14. Alabama

15. Missouri

16. Illinois

17. Mississippi

18. Wisconsin

19. Maryland

20. Delaware

Since this list was compiled in 2009, improvements were made by each state, but 18 of the 20 on that list returned to make the list again in 2010.

The NRDC's data shows South Carolina ranked 29th among all states in industrial mercury air pollution from power plants with nearly 570 pounds emitted in 2010, accounting for 32 percent of state mercury air pollution and one percent of U.S. electric sector mercury pollution.

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