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Environmental Contaminants Contaminants 101

How much contamination are we talking about?

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  • In 2000, New Mexico facilities reported releasing close to 122 million pounds of toxic chemicals into the air, land, water and underground. New Mexico ranks 17th in the Nation for toxic materials releases. 2000 Toxics Release Inventory, New Mexico - 82 KB (PDF)

  • During 2001, 67 chemical and oil spills were reported in New Mexico. National Response Center, Washington, D.C.

  • There are 12 active National Priorities List (NPL) Superfund sites in New Mexico as of December 2002. There are 101 additional sites in New Mexico listed in the EPA CERCLIS database (potential hazardous waste sites, or sites that have been cleaned up). EPA, Region 6, Dallas, Texas.

  • Approximately 4.5 billion pounds of pesticides are used in the United States in a typical year. For 1997, pesticide use was estimated to be 4.63 billion pounds. Pesticide Industry Sales and Usage: 1996 and 1997 Market Estimates. U.S. EPA, Office of Prevention, Pesticides and Toxic Substances. August 1997.

  • Almost 20% of New Mexico lakes have fish consumption advisories. Most of these advisories are due to mercury, an airborne byproduct of industrial activities. In New Mexico, the majority of mercury contamination is likely due to coal-fired power plants in New Mexico, Arizona, and Mexico.

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This webpage was last modified on: March 22, 2012

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