Families living in neighborhoods surrounding the U.S. Steel mill in Granite City have the second highest cancer risk in the country, according to the EPA.
The EPA list, which is based on data from 2002, reveals a community in Los Angeles County has the highest rate in the country-1,200 cancer cases for every one-million residents. Madison County was second with 1,100 cases. The national average is 36 cases per million. The cancer risk is based on exposure to pollution oever a lifetime.
The EPA report once again raises concerns about the pollution spewing from the U.S. Steel mill. It doesn't mentioned the company by name. It didn't need to. The mill has polluted the city for decades, and it has employed thousands of workers, which is a big reason why the community still supports the plant.
Of course, as a result of this study, the EPA has reinforced its image as a massive bureaucracy that moves with the speed of a sloth in concrete boots. The data for the study is seven years old, and quite likely inaccurate.
Jim Ross, an air pollution expert with the Illinois EPA, told me the biggest source of pollution at the mill are the coke ovens. The ovens process coal, which is turned into a material that creates the steel. Coking also produces some nasty pollution. Ross says regulations that were not in effect in 2002 have reduced the emissions from coke ovens.
The United States EPA declined to return our call or e-mail seeking comment today.
U.S. Steel issued the following statement: "We are currently reviewing the report the EPA issued today, so it would be inappropriate for us to comment on the findings at this time."
I posted about the EPA list today on Twitter. My Twitter user name is InsideNews4.
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