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‘Lone star’ state gets no stars for toxic waste

Texas has the worst record among US states when it comes to the illegal disposal of hazardous waste, according to research from a steel drinkware company.

Greens Steel has added up fines imposed by the federal Environment Protection Agency (EPA) over the past five years and the Texas total is a breath-taking US$ 5.6 billion (EUR 4.7 billion). The southern state is streets ahead of the second in the list, Michigan whose offenders have paid out US$ 1.5 billion over the same period. The full ‘top 10’, totalling over US$ 13 billion, is:

  1. Texas – US$ 5 648 881 393
  2. Michigan – US$ 1 503 066 659
  3. Louisiana – US$ 156 074 949
  4. New York – US$ 83 155 276
  5. California – US$ 82 719 486
  6. Pennsylvania – US$ 71 752 343
  7. Colorado – US$ 65 623 905
  8. Ohio – US$ 60 661 886
  9. Virginia – US$ 49 023 676
  10. Indiana – US$ 40 126 219

Toxic waste is the by-product of a wide range of activities including manufacturing, construction, farming and other industries. It can also come from households, although often in much smaller quantities, from items such as batteries, paints and pesticides. Toxins can be released into the environment if this waste is not properly disposed of. 

In 2020, Greens Steel compiled a list of its most eco-friendly US states: Vermont, Connecticut, Rhode Island, South Dakota and New Hampshire.

It needs to be mentioned that if a state has virtually no industrial production (Vermont) they will have no toxin production, while a state such as Texas, the largest pertro-chemical producing state would obviously be the highest generator of pollutants.

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