|New data on Sunoco Toledo Refinery:
Hundreds of times more pollution than executives admitted to neighbors
For a year, Sunoco has told the neighbors of its Toledo refinery that pollution from the plant had dropped to approximately 50,000 pounds a year and that "Since 1988, the Toledo Refinery has reduced its environmental releases by approximately 85%. . ."
These statements are not only false, they are not even close: Sunoco emits hundreds of times more pollution than executives admitted to neighbors, according to the most recent available data obtained by Ohio Citizen Action from the Environmental Services Division, City of Toledo. Further, the pollution has been increasing sharply.
For the year 2000, Sunoco reported to the government 396 times more pollution than it told neighbors about; for the year 2001, it was 375 times more. The comparable 2002 figure of 48,819 pounds is about to be released by the U.S. EPA; the total actually released is 520 times that number.
The data below show that in 2002, Sunoco emitted 70% more sulfur dioxide, 176% more carbon monoxide, and 90% more volatile organic compounds than the previous year, 2001. Sunoco increased total emissions by 35% in one year to an average of 69,609 pounds a day.
Sunoco gave the following chart to neighbors --
The source line underneath the reduced image is too small to read. It says, "Note: This data taken from http://www.scorecard.org/env-releases/facility.tcl?tri_id=43616SNRFN1819W#data_summary, TRI Reported Emissions (EPA)."
Again, Sunoco knew full well that these represented only a small fraction of their emissions, since it sent the full accounting to Toledo Environmental Services.
This was not the end of the story, however. Look at the units on the vertical axis. Instead of starting at zero, it starts at 35,000 pounds. That means that for every year on the chart, the first 35,000 pounds of toxic pollution is missing. And when you get to the later years, it makes it look like the refinery is putting out almost nothing, when in fact, more than 35,000 pounds -- 100 pounds a day -- of dangerous emissions are pouring out.
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