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General Overview

Preliminary Toxic Release Inventory data for 2020 – Open and Closed

Total discharges fell due to the drop in activity in some industries, but waste control efforts diverged. The economic sectors that remained open stagnated or got worse. The ones that were shut did better.

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General Overview

Preliminary Toxic Release Inventory data for 2020 – Pandemic Trough

The Environmental Protection Agency published its preliminary 2020 Toxic Release Inventory data for 2020, and – no surprise – total emissions are down. The US annual total at under 3bn pounds is the lowest since the mid 1990s.

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General Overview

Jungle Redux: Food and Food Worker Safety

To mention food and toxic chemicals in the same sentence raises eyebrows or even alarm, but food is like any other major industry: It uses mechanical and chemical processes to make a product. Some of the chemicals used in food production, or output as waste from that production are toxic and regulated by the EPA.

Food safety has been a central concern since the publication of Upton Sinclair’s “The Jungle,” who famously quipped that he aimed the book at America’s heart and hit it in the stomach. It turns out that working conditions (what Sinclair meant by “heart”) and food safety (the stomach) are related. If a subsegment of the industry is bad at one, it is likely to be bad at the other as well.

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General Overview

Quantifying and scoring – a comparison

We were curious: Are environmental scores calculated by various providers aligned with the detailed facility level environmental data that we collect.? The answer is complicated but does help reframe the debate on sustainability in investing.

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General Overview

Manatee County – not one of a kind

News of a possible breach of an abandoned impoundment at a phosphate plant in Manatee County, FL reminds the public again of the silent threat of toxic waste surface pools. The last major similar accident in the US was the Dan River coal ash spill in North Carolina in 2014. How many such impoundments are there, where are they and what do they contain.