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Area toxic releases reported
Hundreds of tons of toxic materials have been released by businesses, industry and federal facilities in the Fredericksburg area, according to a state report.
The Toxics Release Inventory, put out on Monday by the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality, includes releases in air, on land and water.
The report for 2011—the latest information available—includes information on about a dozen Fredericksburg-area sites. In some cases, materials were managed on-site, or transferred elsewhere for recycling, treatment or disposal.
The report cautions that the release data alone are not sufficient to determine potential risks to human health and the environment. DEQ says it uses the information to target sites for projects to reduce pollution at its source, and to improve how the materials are managed.
Fort A.P. Hill , for example, released an estimated 93,820 pounds of nitroglycerin, a component of explosives, on its firing ranges. The base covers about 76,000 acres in Caroline and Essex counties.
Another 442 pounds of lead compounds were reported there. Those fall into a separate category in the report—persistent bioaccumulative toxics—which remain in the environment for long periods of time and can build up in living tissue.
Marine Corps Base Quantico in Prince William and Stafford counties reported releasing 37,364 pounds of solvents, ethers and nitrate compounds into air and water on base. Another 396 pounds of toxic materials were transferred for treatment elsewhere.
Masco Cabinetry LLC in Culpeper released 32,347 pounds of toluene and xylene—both benzene derivatives—into the air in 2011. Of that, some 14,000 pounds were recycled.
Fiberglass Engineering Co. in Fauquier released 8,952 pounds of styrene—a synthetic chemical used to manufacture plastics, rubber and resins.
Birchwood Power Facility, a coal-fired plant in King George County, released 6,335 pounds of 11 toxic chemicals—ranging from ammonia to zinc compounds—into the air. It treated another 909,768 pounds at the plant and transferred another 64,300 pounds off-site for treatment.
Carry-On Trailer Corp., in Montross released 12,413 pounds of benzene and glycol-based solvents into the air; another 21,875 pounds were managed on-site.
The rest of the area companies reporting had much smaller amounts.
Colonial Circuits, a high-tech company in Stafford, for example, transferred 750 pounds of copper and nitrate compounds off-site for disposal, according to its report.
Quarles Petroleum Inc. released seven pounds of various fuel-chemical components into the air at its Fredericksburg terminal.
Overall, Virginia industries reported 39.2 million pounds of chemicals released in 2011. Of that, 68.7 million pounds were transferred elsewhere for treatment, recycling, energy recovery or disposal.
On-site releases of the persistent bioaccumulative toxics, such as lead, dropped by 29.4 percent from 2010 to 269 pounds.
Read the report: deq.virginia.gov
Rusty Dennen: 540/374-5431