Local News

NC's air among worst in US, environmental group says

Posted July 20, 2011 11:41 a.m. EDT

— North Carolina ranked 10th nationally in the amount of pollution in the air, according to federal data analyzed by the Natural Resources Defense Council.

Using data from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Toxics Release Inventory, the environmental group determined that coal- and oil-fired power plants were the source of nearly half of the nation's air pollution from industrial sources.

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

Ohio, Pennsylvania and Florida have the worst air nationwide, according to the study.

The group released the information as Congress considers EPA's efforts to update public health protections, such as setting new standards for mercury emissions into the air.