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EPA: Valley Facilities Top Statewide List of Toxic Chemical Releases

Jan 16, 2013

Kettleman City, in rural Kings County is home to one of the state's leading sources of toxic chemical releases. (file photo)
Credit California Department of Public Health

Two hazardous waste facilities in the San Joaquin Valley led the state in toxic chemical releases in 2011, according to a report released today by the Environmental Protection Agency.

The Clean Harbors landfill in Buttonwillow in western Kern County ranked number one in the state in toxic releases, with nearly 10 million pounds in 2011. In Kings County, Chemical Waste Management’s Kettleman City disposal facility released nearly four million pounds in 2011, which ranked third in the state.

Statewide, toxic chemical releases were up 10 percent over 2010, at nearly 3 million pounds.  The report measures releases ranging from material that is disposed of in landfills to chemicals released into the air and water. The substances range from asbestos and mercury to lead, nickel and barium. 

Over 1,200 facilities throughout California released a total 38 million pounds of toxic chemicals in 2011.