5:05pm

Wed January 11, 2012
Environmental Watchdog

EPA Unveils Tool to Pinpoint Polluters

The Environmental Protection Agency has released a tool to help the public pinpoint the sources of greenhouse gas emissions. People have long been able to track the toxic chemicals released in their neighborhoods through the EPA’s Toxic Release Inventory. But now that the agency can collect data on greenhouse gas emissions, the newest tool provides even more information.

EPA Air Administrator Gina McCarthy says it’s a milestone for the agency.

“This publicly available data enriches and empowers all of us who want to identify opportunities for reducing greenhouse gases,” she said.

McCarthy says data was only collected from the biggest emitters—facilities that release more than 25,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide each year.

“That threshold for reporting is roughly the same as greenhouse gas emissions from burning 131 rail cars of coal,” she said. “So this reporting program truly does cover just the big emitters.”

According to the new tool, in Kentucky, 127 facilities released more than 25,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide in 2010. 82 percent of those emissions were from power plants.

In Louisville, there are 17 facilities in the EPA’s database. Nine of them are in west or southwest Louisville. Louisville Gas and Electric’s Mill Creek and Cane Run power plants are among the top three emitters—so is Dupont’s Louisville Works plant.