The Genesee River ranks 32nd among the most polluted rivers and lakes in the country, a study released Friday by a New York City environmental advocacy group shows.
The Genesee, Seneca and Hudson rivers in New York all are among the top 40 among more than 1,900 rivers, streams and lakes analyzed, the study found.
The Seneca, which flows from Seneca Lake to beyond the Montezuma at the north end of Cayuga Lake, ranks 33rd. The Hudson ranks 24th.
The Genesee ranks 29th in discharges of chemicals that persist in the environment, the study shows.
Industrial facilities dumped 5.7 million pounds of toxic chemicals in New York waterways in 2010, Environmental New York said.
The report documents and analyzes the levels of pollutants discharged to waterways by compiling toxic chemical releases reported to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s toxics release inventory for 2010, the most recent data available, Environmental New York said.
Industries should switch from hazardous chemicals to safer alternatives to reduce toxic discharges, the organization said. It called on the Barack Obama administration to finalize guidelines and rules to clarify that the Clean Water Act applies to all waterways, and the EPA and state agencies should issue permits with stricter guidelines and timetables.
“The bottom line is that New York’s waterways shouldn’t be a polluter’s paradise, they should just be paradise,” Environmental New York director David VanLuven said in a statement.
“We need clean water now, and we are counting on the state and federal government to act to protect our health and environment.”
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