Report available at: WWW.POLLUTIONWATCH.ORG
For Immediate Release
February 9, 2006
Canadian Companies Dirtier Air Polluters than U.S.
in Great Lakes Basin
federal government faces challenge to restore and clean up Great
Lakes, new report shows
– Canadian facilities in the Great Lakes basin emitted 73%
more air pollution per facility in 2002 than their U.S. counterparts, says a new
report released today by PollutionWatch partner organizations Environmental
Defence and the Canadian Environmental Law Association. In total, Canadian
and U.S. facilities in the Great Lakes basin spewed more than 101 million
kilograms (101,907,241 kg) of pollution into the air. Canadian facilities
accounted for 49,471,016 kilograms of the total air releases while U.S.
facilities released 52,436,225 kilograms of pollutants into the air.
The report, Partners in Pollution: An Assessment of Continuing
Canadian and United States Contributions to Great Lakes Pollution,
is based on data submitted by Canadian companies to Environment Canada for its
national reporting program, the National Pollutant Release Inventory
(NPRI), and to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for its Toxics
Release Inventory (TRI). The 2002 matched NPRI and TRI data are the most
recently available. Partners in Pollution
is the first report in a decade to focus on pollution levels in the Great Lakes ecosystem using NPRI and TRI data. The report
reveals that more than 4,100 Great Lakes facilities in Canada and the U.S.
released and transferred over 627 million kilograms (627,243,035 kg) of
pollutants in the Great Lakes ecosystem
“The health of the Great Lakes is in real trouble because we forget
pollution is still a real issue,” said Paul Muldoon, Executive
Director, Canadian Environmental Law Association. “We call on the new
Canadian government to seize this opportunity to set an agenda to protect
the Great Lakes ecosystem from pollution and
other human-induced stresses. The presence of fish consumption advisories
around the basin is a clear signal that the Lakes are still polluted.”
Canadian facilities also
fared worse for releasing air pollution associated with potential health
effects. On a per facility basis,
Canadian matched facilities released on average 79% more respiratory toxins to
the air than TRI facilities, and 93% more known or suspected
cancer-causing pollutants. Between 1998 and 2002, core Canadian facilities
increased their air releases by 3%, while core U.S. facilities decreased air
pollution by 24%. The trend in air pollution is analyzed using core facilities
that reported consistently in Canada
and the U.S.
between 1998 and 2002, and core pollutants reported over the same time
getting around it. Canada is
doing a worse job on Great Lakes pollution than the U.S.,” said Dr. Rick
Smith, Executive Director, Environmental Defence. “The new
Conservative government needs to act now to get serious about reducing
pollution in the Great Lakes and protecting
accounted for half of the Top 10 Air Polluters in the Great
Lakes basin, and were responsible for 61% of reported air
pollution among the Top 10.
Facility / Name / Parent / Company / Name / Location / Lake Basin /
Air Releases (2002) (kg)
1 Nanticoke Generating Station Ontario Power Generation Inc Nanticoke, ON Lake Erie
2 Detroit Edison Monroe Power Plant DTE Energy Monroe, MI Lake Erie 3,899,468
Cliff Smelter Complex Inco Limited Copper Cliff, ON Lake
4 Bayer Inc.
Sarnia Site Bayer Inc. Sarnia, ON Lake Erie 2,159,588
5 J. H.
Campbell Generating Plant Consumers Energy Co. West Olive, MI Lake Michigan
Generating Station Ontario Power Generation Inc Courtright,
ON Lake Erie
7 Kodak Park
Eastman Kodak Co. Rochester, NY
Plant FirstEnergy Corp. Eastlake, OH Lake Erie
9 Thunder Bay
Operation Bowater Canadian Forest Products Inc. Thunder Bay,
ON Lake Superior 1,622,802
10 BP Prods.
N.A. Whiting Business Unit BP America Inc. Whiting, IN Lake
levels in the Great Lakes basin continue to
take an apparent toll on the air and water quality of the ecosystem.
It’s remarkable to think that the U.S. government would try to limit the
availability of data when this report clearly indicates that more
comprehensive bi-national monitoring is necessary,” said Derek Stack, Executive Director, Great Lakes
United. “Funding research and ultimately accelerating pollution reduction
through available practical strategies should be a priority for U.S.
and Canadian governments.”
in Pollution makes 15 specific recommendations to governments
on both sides of the border to reduce and eliminate pollution in the Great Lakes, including:
• Develop an inclusive, common database to determine the
annual loading of all pollutants, including all persistent toxic
substances to the Great Lakes.
• Develop and
implement a bi-national pollution elimination
and reduction strategy that builds upon, and significantly
expands, the Bi-national Great Lakes Toxics Strategy.
• Reconfirm their
commitment to the virtual elimination of
persistent toxic substances and expand that goal to include
carcinogens and endocrine disruptors.
• Commit to
reaching the prescribed targets through pollution
prevention measures which would include the application of green chemistry
and materials substitution.
• Enhance and expand the U.S. TRI and the Canadian NPRI
programs, including rejection of the proposal to collect TRI
data every two years, and other burden reduction proposals.
The Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement, which
commits the U.S. and
Canadian governments to restore and protect the water quality of the Great Lakes, will undergo a formal review soon. The
Canadian Environmental Law Association, Environmental Defence and Great
Lakes United urge all levels of government to use the pollution findings of the
report as a focal point for the review process. Partners in Pollution: An Assessment of Continuing Canadian and United
States Contributions to Great Lakes Pollution is available to
download for free on the PollutionWatch web site – www.PollutionWatch.org.
PollutionWatch (www.PollutionWatch.org) is a
collaborative project of Environmental Defence and the
Canadian Environmental Law Association. The web site tracks releases and
transfers of pollutants across Canada
based on data collected by Environment Canada through the National
Pollutant Release Inventory (NPRI). NPRI does not include data from all
pollutants or sources. Partners in Pollution
is the second of two reports prepared by PollutionWatch focused on the Great Lakes basin. The first report, Great Lakes, Great Pollution, was released in June
information, or to arrange an interview, please contact:
Environmental Defence, (416) 323-9521 ext. 232; (647) 280-9521 (cell)
Fe de Leon, Canadian
Environmental Law Association, (416) 960-2284 ext. 223; (416) 371-3219 (cell)
Rachel Heckl, Great Lakes United, (716) 951-0971 (cell)