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Clean Harbors, US Marine Corps Lead CA Top 10 Releasers of Chemicals: EPA

Clean Harbors Buttonwillow, outside Bakersfield, and the Marine Corps Chocolate Mountains Aerial Gunnery Range in Imperial County were the top two releasers of chemicals in California.

Toxic chemicals managed, treated or released into the environment from facilities operating in California increased in 2011 compared to 2010, and the top two releasers of chemicals that year were the Clean Harbors Buttonwillow hazardous waste facility and the U.S. Marine Corps Chocolate Mountains Aerial Gunnery Range near the Salton Sea.

Findings for 2011 were released Wednesday Jan. 16, and they are the most current available, Michael Ardito of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency said in a phone interview from San Francisco.

Clean Harbors Buttonwillow, outside Bakersfield, released 9,861,640 pounds of chemicals in 2011, and the Marine Corps Chocolate Mountains Aerial Gunnery Range outside Niland, Imperial County, released 3,903,712 pounds of chemicals into the environment that year, according to the EPA.

A list of the top 10 chemical releases, and a list of the top 10 facilities releasing chemicals, is part of the latest Toxics Release Inventory data published by the EPA online.

"Community Right-to-Know data helps all of us remain aware of the types and amounts of chemicals being used in our neighborhoods," Jared Blumenfeld, EPA's Regional Administrator for the Pacific Southwest, said in a statement released Jan. 16. "It is great to see pollution prevention activities at reporting facilities, and we encourage them to reduce their chemical releases via this method."

Also in the top 10 chemical releasers for California were Chevron in El Segundo, Quemetco Inc. in Industry, BP West Coast Products LLC in Carson, Valero Refining in Benicia, and Conoco Phillips in Rodeo.

For more information, visit www.epa.gov/region9/tri/report/11.

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