HAMPTON ROADS, Va. (WVEC) -- Hampton Roads area is home to five of the top 25 ZIP codes with the highest toxic air emissions in the state, according to a report released by the Sierra Club Virginia Chapter.
'The Top 25 Virginia Localities with Highest Toxic Air Emissions' report is based on the EPA's 2015 Toxic Release Inventory. This data, self-reported by the companies releasing the pollutants, is analyzed to create the final Sierra Club report.
Of the top 25, five are in the Hampton Roads area:
- Isle of Wight ZIP code 23851 ranks fifth
- James City County ZIP code 23185 ranks 12th
- Chesapeake City ZIP code 23324 ranks 16th
- York ZIP code 23692 ranked 18th
- Newport News ZIP code 23607 ranks 21st
According to the study, the biggest pollutants in each ZIP code are:
- International Paper Franklin Mill, located within Isle of Wight ZIP code 23851, released over 1.2 million pounds of toxic chemicals into the air on its own.
- James City County ZIP code 23185 contains the Ball Metal Beverage Container Corp., which released over 400 thousand pounds of toxic chemicals in 2015.
- Newport News ZIP code 23607’s biggest air polluters are Huntington Ingalls Inc. and Mica Co of Canada Inc.
“Throughout the state, major corporations’ toxic air pollution emissions are rising, despite Virginia’s slight overall decrease in air pollution,” Kendyl Crawford, Conservation Program Manager with the Sierra Club Virginia Chapter, said.