EVANSVILLE, Ind. — To see one of the country’s largest coal-fired power plants, head northwest from this Ohio River city. Or east, because there’s another in the region. In fact, nearly every direction you go will take you to a coal plant — seven within 30 miles.Collectively they pump out millions of pounds of toxic air pollution. They throw off greenhouse gases on par with Hong Kong or Sweden.Industrial air pollution — bad for people’s health, bad for the planet — is strikingly concentrated in America among a small number of facilities like those in southwest Indiana, according to a nine-month Center for Public Integrity investigation.The Center, which merged two federal datasets to create an unprecedented picture of air emissions, found that a third of the toxic air releases in 2014 from power plants, factories and other facilities came from just 100 complexes out of more than 20,000 reporting to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. A third of the greenhouse-gas emissions reported by industrial sites came from just 100, too. Some academics have a name for them: super polluters.Twenty-two sites appeared on both lists. They include ExxonMobil’s massive refinery and petrochemical complex in Baytown, Texas, and a slew of coal-fired power… Read full this story
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