Coming in first place was AK Steel Holding Corp, followed by meat producers Tyson Foods coming in a close second. Third was the nation’s DOD, which polluted waterways with a whopping 63,335,653 pounds of toxins from 2010-2014.
The data was pulled from the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Toxic Release Inventory (TRI) program, which “tracks the management of certain toxic chemicals that may pose a threat to human health and the environment. US facilities in different industry sectors must report annually how much of each chemical is released to the environment.”
Also making the top 15 on the list were Koch Industries, coming in 6th place — they dumped 34,247,944 pounds of waste — and Exxon Mobile, which came in 15th place, with 15,363,763 pounds of pollution. Nearly half of the list was comprised of meat and food industry suppliers.
“Amongst the many potentially deadly substances released by DOD are chemicals, rocket fuel and toxic sewage — but it’s the carcinogenic and mutagenic radioactive isotopes let loose by its nuclear munition plants that make DOD’s emissions exceptionally dangerous,” Emerson Urry wrote for Enviro News.
Urry also noted that though agencies such as the Department of Energy, NASA, the US Department of Agriculture (USDA), the Department of the Interior (DOI), the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), and the Department of Justice (DOJ) did not make the list, they are also huge polluters, and therefore it is possible that, collectively, the US Government may be the worst offender of all.