USA: Univ. of Massachusetts research institute releases list of top 100 corporate air polluters - top 10: DuPont, US Steel, ConocoPhillips, GE, Kodak, ExxonMobil, Ford, Tyson, Alcoa, ADM

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Article
1 May 2006

US "Toxic 100" list by Political Economy Research Institute (PERI) & company responses

Author: compiled by Business & Human Rights Resource Centre

In May 2006, the Political Economy Research Institute (PERI) at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst (USA) issued an updated version of its "Toxic 100" list of the "top corporate air polluters" in the USA. The Business & Human Rights Resource Centre invited each company in the top 10 to respond to its listing. The companies' responses to their listing, and comments by PERI on those responses, are available below. [Companies that responded: DuPont, US Steel, General Electric, Eastman Kodak, Ford, Tyson Foods (ranking expected to be lowered or eliminated), Alcoa, Archer Daniels Midland. No response from ConocoPhillips, ExxonMobil.]

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Article
11 May 2006

Top Corporate Air Polluters Named [USA]

Author: Political Economy Research Institute (PERI), Univ. of Massachusetts [USA]

Researchers at the Political Economy Research Institute (PERI) at the University of Massachusetts today released the Toxic 100, an updated list of the top corporate air polluters... James K. Boyce, director of PERI's environment program [said] "We measure not just how many pounds of pollutants are released, but which are the most toxic and how many people are at risk..." The Toxic 100's top five companies are E.I. Du Pont de Nemours & Co. [DuPont], US Steel, ConocoPhillips, GE, and Eastman Kodak. [rest of top 10: ExxonMobil, Ford, Tyson Foods, Alcoa, Archer Daniels Midland.]

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Company response
19 May 2006

Response of United States Steel to “Toxic 100” ranking

Author: United States Steel

Your alleged ranking of toxic air releases is based upon 2002 TRI reports, however you have assigned to United States Steel Corporation emissions from facilities which U. S. Steel did not own or operate in 2002. These are the Granite City Works in Granite City, Illinois; the Great Lakes Works in Ecorse and River Rouge, Michigan; and, the Midwest Plant in Portage, Indiana. According to your listing, these three facilities account for 35% of the score you have assigned to U. S. Steel. If you are going to base your report on 2002 data, you should only look at those facilities which U. S. Steel owned and operated in 2002.

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Company response
22 May 2006

Response of DuPont to "Toxic 100" ranking

Author: DuPont

DuPont is committed to adhere to the highest standards for the safe operation of our facilities and the protection of the environment. We will drive toward zero emissions, giving priority to those that may present the greatest potential risk to health or the environment. In an effort to meet this commitment we have reduced our air carcinogen emissions more than 92% since 1987 when they were first reported under the EPA Toxics Release Inventory (TRI). We have reduced all of our TRI-reported emissions and releases more than 80% since 1987... We are concerned about our ranking... We are committed to pursue additional improvements in our environmental performance and we will focus our ongoing efforts on those emissions and releases that present the greatest opportunity for reducing our potential impacts...

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Company response
22 May 2006

Response of Eastman Kodak to “Toxic 100” ranking

Author: David M. Kiser, Director, Health, Safety and Environment & Vice President, Eastman Kodak

Quite simply, the information relative to Kodak is inaccurate and misleading. First, the report used old data from 2002. Since that time, Kodak has reduced air emissions by about one-third. Even more significantly, the analysis performed by PERI was flawed and overestimated the concentration of Kodak emissions by a factor of more than 50 times. The PERI report is based on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Risk Screening Environmental Indicators (RSEI) model, which is a preliminary screening tool with a number of technical limitations. (The EPA has clearly identified some of these limitations – see http://www.epa.gov/opptintr/rsei/faqs.html .) We recently held discussions with EPA concerning the use of RSEI by PERI, and the agency has acknowledged that the database is not intended to be used in this manner and is working with Kodak and others to prevent such flawed analyses in the future.

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Company response
23 May 2006

Response of Alcoa to “Toxic 100” ranking

Author: Alcoa

Operating in a manner that protects and promotes the health and well-being of the environment is a core value to Alcoa. In 2001, we developed an initial set of long-range goals to be achieved by 2020, with routine measurement to track our progress. We updated these goals in early 2006 as part of a larger initiative to enhance Alcoa's sustainability framework... We have made significant progress against many of our goals... For more detailed information on Alcoa's sustainability programs and performance please visit our website http://www.alcoa.com/global/en/about_alcoa/sustainability/home.asp

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Company response
23 May 2006

Response of Archer Daniels Midland to “Toxic 100” ranking

Author: Archer Daniels Midland

The reported emissions used for this ranking system are from 2002. In 2003, ADM [Archer Daniels Midland] commenced a 10-year program to reduce emissions from its major U.S. facilities by approximately 65,000 tons per year over a period of ten years. As those reductions are realized, ADM’s score will be greatly reduced under the methodology used by the Institute. Notably, emissions of a single compound at a single facility account for nearly 70% of ADM’s total score. However, when the controls planned for that facility are completed, those emissions will be reduced by greater than 95% and may be reduced to nearly zero...

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Company response
23 May 2006

Response of General Electric to “Toxic 100” ranking

Author: General Electric

GE has a comprehensive EHS (environment, health & safety) management system that operates globally. Since 1987, GE has reduced its emissions by more than 85%, despite greatly expanding its production. We continually evaluate opportunities to further reduce our emissions. The US Environmental Protection Agency has stated that the model used by PERI is properly used for screening purposes only and it is not a quantitative risk assessment model and thus not independently meaningful.

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Article
23 May 2006

[DOC] Political Economy Research Institute note on revised data from Tyson Foods

Author: Political Economy Research Institute (PERI), Univ. of Massachusetts [USA]

A Tyson representative stated that Tyson made overreporting errors in its initial submission to EPA regarding 2002 releases and that Tyson has submitted revised reports to EPA. The expected revision, which has not yet been implemented by EPA, will substantially lower Tyson's Toxic Score and reduce or eliminate Tyson's presence among the Toxic 100... PERI believes that the Toxic 100 publication, which brought Tyson's reporting error to the attention of the company, has thereby contributed to improvement in the quality of data available for environmental decision-making.

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Article
25 May 2006

[DOC] Response to Alcoa from Political Economy Research Institute [USA]

Author: Political Economy Research Institute (PERI), Univ. of Massachusetts [USA]

We thank Alcoa for its willingness to engage in dialogue with the Political Economy Research Institute... We are pleased to learn that Alcoa, which ranked ninth on the Toxic 100 list of Top Corporate Air Polluters, has been responsive and effective in its effort to reduce toxic air emissions. PERI looks forward to ongoing improvement in performance.

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