13 Investigates - Toxic Air - 13 WTHR Indianapolis






Definitions

Current EPA Air Violation:  Shows whether a facility has one or more violations of the Clean Air Act within the most recent 3-month period reported by the EPA.

EPA High Priority Violator: The listing of a facility as a "Clean Air Act High Priority Violator" means the EPA or IDEM has information upon which the agency believes a finding of violation of the Clean Air Act can be established. It does not necessarily mean the agency has yet made a formal finding of violation or that the facility has yet been found to have violated the Act.  The High Priority Violator designation indicates alleged violations of sufficient magnitude or duration to be a regulatory priority. Sources continue to be considered High Priority Violators until they are in full compliance and all penalties are paid. HPV is the most serious level of violation noted in the CAA program, and this designation indicates a violation that may pose a more severe level of concern for the environment or program integrity.

Enforcement Actions:  Indicates the total number of formal and informal enforcement actions taken against the facility within the previous five years. Also note not all violations receive formal enforcement actions. Violations that are minor, short in duration, or quickly corrected by the facility may not warrant any action.

Penalties:  Indicates the total dollar amount of assessed fines levied against the facility during the past five years. This sum only includes penalties that have been entered in the EPA’s program databases.

TRI Releases: Chemical release information from the EPA Toxics Release Inventory (TRI) is self-reported by each reporting facility. Chemical releases are not a measure of compliance as the reported releases are typically permissible under current laws. TRI is a publicly-accessible EPA database containing information on disposal and other releases of over 650 toxic chemicals such as lead, mercury and arsenic.

SO2 Released:   Sulfur Dioxide (SO2) is a toxic gas with a pungent, irritating smell. It is classified as a major air pollutant by the EPA because of its significant impacts upon human health. SO2 exposure from air pollution is associated with increased respiratory symptoms and disease, difficulty in breathing, and premature death. SO2 numbers come from EPA’s eGRID2012 database containing 2009 data, the most recent year for which eGRID data is currently published.

NOx Released:
  Nitrogen Oxide (NOx) gasses are formed whenever there is combustion, and NOx contributes to the formation of smog, acid rain and small toxic particles that can penetrate deeply into sensitive lung tissue.  According to the EPA, inhalation of such particles may cause or worsen respiratory diseases, such as emphysema or bronchitis, and may also aggravate existing heart disease. NOx numbers come from EPA’s eGRID2012 database containing 2009 data, the most recent year for which eGRID data is currently published.

GHG Released:
  Greenhouse gasses (GHG) such as Carbon Dioxide, Methane and Nitrous Oxide trap heat in the atmosphere, causing a negative impact on human health and the environment. Unless otherwise noted, GHG totals come from EPA’s ECHO data system and represent a facility’s sum of total release amounts and associated quantities of all linked Greenhouse gasses, derived from the Office of Air and Radiation "Summary 2010 Greenhouse Gas Data." Units are reported as "metric tons of CO2 equivalents."  Data marked with (*) is provided from EPA’s eGRID2012 database containing 2009 Carbon Dioxide totals, the most recent year for which eGRID data is currently published.

Air pollution release level: A ranked grouping from 1 to 5, based on combined total chemical, SO2 and NOx releases (lbs) and Greenhouse gas releases (tons) from the EPA’s ECHO and eGRID reporting databases.
Level 5: Combined chemical, SO2 and NOx releases (lbs) + Greenhouse gas releases (tons) = 1,000,000 or higher
Level 4: Combined chemical, SO2 and NOx releases (lbs) + Greenhouse gas releases (tons) = 100,000 to 999,999
Level 3: Combined chemical, SO2 and NOx releases (lbs) + Greenhouse gas releases (tons) = 10,000 to 99,000
Level 2: Combined chemical, SO2 and NOx releases (lbs) + Greenhouse gas releases (tons) = 1,000 to 9,999
Level 1: Combined chemical, SO2 and NOx releases (lbs) + Greenhouse gas releases (tons) = 0 to 999

About this Map
This interactive map represents more than 600 facilities in Indiana that have emitted hazardous chemicals into the air.  The facilities are all designated by the Environmental Protection Agency as Major and federally reportable Minor sources of air pollution.  Color-coded dots and scores of one to five smoke stacks are based on combined total releases of toxic chemicals and dangerous gasses at each facility. More smoke stack icons signify higher amounts of releases. Zoom in to your neighborhood or find the area you're looking for by clicking on the map.

Source:  Environmental Protection Agency databases as of 2/1/13
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