Of the nation's thousands of counties, Utah's Tooele County receives the nation's most industrial toxic air pollution.
And of the 50 states, Utah receives the fourth most, according to a new study by the watchdog group Citizen Action, which was formed by Ralph Nader.The group released a similar study earlier this month that figured which industries and factories nationwide dumped the most toxics, based on 1989 information they reported to the Environmental Protection Agency. Utah companies have complained such studies did not use more recent 1990 data.
The new study released Tuesday ranked states and counties in order of how much toxics are dumped within their borders.
Tooele County received the nation's most toxic air pollution - 119.5 million pounds. The lion's share of it - 119.1 million pounds - came from the Magnesium Corp. of America (formerly AMAX) plant in Rowley, which mainly emits chlorine.
Magcorp Vice President Lee Brown said earlier this month, "A chlorine burner and other pollution control equipment installed in the second half of 1990 will result in reduced emissions of 40 to 50 percent in 1991."
Magcorp's chlorine emission numbers were heavy enough that they also almost single-handedly helped Tooele County earn the dubious honor of receiving the sixth most overall toxic pollution - to not only air, but also to land and water.
Utah finished fourth among the states in toxic air releases with 130 million pounds - again with the lion's share from Magcorp.
Utah finished 13th among the states for the total amount of toxic releases from industries with 149 million pounds.
Robert M. Brandon, vice president of Citizen Action, said about the studies warning of toxics, "These are not scare tactics, they are scary facts."
He said people near industrial plants "are told they (toxics) are no problem. Tragically, they find out differently when loved ones come down with cancer . . . and other diseases caused by the toxic chemicals."