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Toxic Releases Inventory Finds Pollution In San Diego Trending Up

Tom Hilton

A factory chimney releases a long stream of smoke into the sky.

Aired 2/5/14 on KPBS News.

San Diego and California are going in different directions when it comes to the release or transfer of toxic materials.

San Diego and California are going in different directions when it comes to the release or transfer of toxic materials.

A new federal survey from the Environmental Protection Agency finds toxic releases falling in the state, but rising in San Diego.

More than 1,200 California businesses reported they released a total of 33 million pounds of toxic materials in the air, on land or in water in 2012. That's less than compared to the previous year.

In San Diego, air releases of toxics jumped in 2012, following several years of declines, while releases onto land continued on a steady incline. The releases in San Diego accounted for less than 2 percent of the releases statewide.

The self-reported information is compiled to help communities understand the where pollution happens.

"Some community members are interested in finding out more about facilities that are in their neighborhood. So that they can figure out what's in their air water and land," the EPA's Lilly Lee said.

The General Dynamics NASSCO shipyard was responsible for the most pollution in San Diego County in 2012. Pollypeptide Labs and Illumina ranked No. 2 and No. 3. The Navy Facilities at Miramar and North Island rounded out the top five.

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