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Industrys Toxic Chemical Water Pollution Shipyards oil refineries and pulp and paper mills put the health of Puget Sound at risk by not fully meeting their responsibility to control the toxic chemical pollution they generate according to a detailed report by People For Puget Sound based on the environmental records of 31 facilities We prepared the report as the result of an eight-month study of the permit system that regulates industrial toxic discharges into waterways Some facilities are doing a better job than others but we found serious deficiencies in what the state allows to be discharged into our waters and how poorly the state and these industries follow our clean water laws We know the state and these industries can do a lot better job to prevent dumping toxic pollution that harms the health of our marine waters and our communities around Puget Sound Heavy metals petroleum and organoclorines have been shown to harm the immune and reproductive systems of fish including salmon From 1990 to 1994 five of the 10 largest water polluters in Washington were oil refineries and pulp mills located on Puget Sound These five facilities legally discharged into Puget Sound 115 million pounds of toxic chemicals including persistent toxic heavy metals carcinogens such as chloroform and formaldehyde and reproductive toxins such as lead and mercury We found that 25 of the facilities have detected at least one toxic chemical above state water quality standards in their final effluent -- and often more than one 21 of the facilities either are in areas known to have significant sediment contamination or have conducted site specific tests which show sediment contamination 12 of the facilities have conducted biomonitoring tests on their effluent that resulted in either high levels of mortality or harmful effects on growth or reproduction 20 of the 31 facilities evaluated either were fined by the state Department of
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