RICHMOND (AP) — The Sierra Club has compiled a list of the two 15 ZIP codes in Virginia with the highest levels of toxic air emissions.
The environmental group used data from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to compile the list.
Ranking at No. 1 was Covington, which had nearly 3 million pounds of emissions. The Appalachian town is home to MeadWestvaco's paperboard mill.
Metropolitan Richmond claimed four of the top 15 zip codes. They included Hopewell, Chesterfield County and Colonial Heights.
Others included in the list were Buchanan, Chesapeake, West Point, York County and Lynchburg, among others.
In West Point, according to the Sierra Club, 842,822 pounds of toxic air pollution was released into the air in 2012, where the RockTenn paper mill is located. The facility produces cardboard boxes and rolls of paper from recycled sources. According to the Sierra Club, major pollutants emitted by RockTenn into West Point’s air are the potent lung irritants ammonia, hydrochloric acid and sulfuric acid.
The Sierra Club lists Chesapeake #5, citing the Chesapeake Energy Center as the offender.
You can find the EPA’s TRI data for any zip code by clicking here and entering your zip code.
“We've issued this report because we thought it would be helpful for Virginians to know exactly what they're breathing and how their communities stack up against others in the state in terms of toxic air pollution,” said Glen Besa, Director of the Sierra Club Virginia Chapter.