Industrial facilities dumped 1.4 million pounds of toxic chemicals into Maryland waterways in 2010, mostly in the Baltimore area, according to a new report.
The report was released Thursday by Environment Maryland, which said it obtained the figures from Environmental Protection Agency reports.
The report said 98 percent of the releases were in the Baltimore area, particularly Curtis Creek on the Baltimore-Anne Arundel County border. The report notes the releases were in the Gunpowder-Patapsco watershed that includes Howard, Anne Arundel and Frederick counties.
Maryland ranks 33rd in the nation in total pounds of toxic releases, with more than 1.4 million pounds of toxins released into waterways in 2010 alone. The state saw releases of more than 1,000 pounds of cancer causing chemicals (36th in the nation) and almost 400 pounds of reproductive toxins (35th in the nation), according to the report.
The top state for toxic releases is Indiana, with 27.4 million pounds of releases in 2010. Arizona ranked last, with only 69 pounds of toxic chemicals being released into waterways.
In the D.C. area, Virginia’s Upper Roanoke watershed ranked second in the nation. The District ranked 49th.
The chemicals tracked include arsenic, mercury and benzene, which the environmental group said have been linked to cancer and developmental and reproductive disorders. The report calls on industrial facilities to switch to safer alternatives and for tougher permitting and enforcement by federal and state environmental regulators.