There’s been a lot of discussion about the sinkhole in the gypsum stack at Mosaic’s New Wales fertilizer plant, but what do you know about the hazardous chemicals that are being released by local industrial plants every year.
The database is called the Toxic Release Inventory. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency issues it annually, though there’s a time lag.
The most recent report is for chemicals released in 2015.
It is searchable down to the county level geographically and also by industrial sector (power plants, manufacturing plants etc.)
The most recent report lists the following totals (in pounds) for counties in the area.
Fertilizer plants such as the New Wales plant and power plants, particularly Lakeland’s coal-burning McIntosh plant, make up most of Polk’s totals.
Go to this link https://iaspub.epa.gov/triexplorer/tri_release.chemical and work down to whichever county or industry or chemical or combination of any of those that interest you.
One thing on the data. It is often to make a direct connection between emissions and environmental or health threats without additional analysis.
A separate listing called Right to Know lists the amount of chemicals of certain types and in amounts above specified threshold amounts that are stored at local industrial plants.
These disclosures trace their inception to the Bhopal chemical disaster at the Union Carbide plant in 1984.