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This news article was originally written in Spanish. It has been automatically translated for your convenience. Reasonable efforts have been made to provide an accurate translation, however, no automated translation is perfect nor is it intended to replace a human translator. The original article in Spanish can be viewed at Sale a la luz el informe más reciente sobre contaminación industrial en América del Norte

Comes to light the most recent report on industrial pollution in North America


on April 13, 2011

The 13a. edition of the balance sheet report, recently published by the Commission for environmental cooperation (CCA), offers the most complete picture of industrial pollution in throughout North America, as documented emissions and transfers of 5.7 billion kilograms of pollutants generated by institutions reporting to programs for the registration of emission and transfers of pollutants (PRTR) in Canada, United States and Mexico.

This year's report contains an analysis of the more than 228 million kilograms of pollutants emissions into surface waters recorded in the three countries. In the balance sheet gives to know that only two (nitrate compounds and ammonia) accounted for 90 per cent of the total volume of 256 chemicals emitted into surface waters. These pollutants are associated with a greater presence of harmful algae blooms and even toxic that cause "dead zones" (i.e., areas devoid of oxygen) in aquatic systems, phenomenon which affects more and more to bodies of water in all three countries.

In addition to the direct emissions to surface water, more than 133 million pounds of a wide variety of pollutants were transferred to the sewerage system or sewage treatment plants. Depending on that if they are treated, and in any case, of the type of treatment to which they were being subjected, these pollutants can also in the long term end downloaded in surface waters.

Information on emissions to water also reveals gaps significant in the tracking of industrial pollution in North America as a result of exemptions from registration for certain sectors and pollutants in each country, which is compounded by the incomplete registration by some establishments. For example, public sewage treatment plants accounted for 44 per cent of the total number of registered emissions, but data are almost of exclusively from Canadian establishments. In United States, such systems are exempt from reporting on emissions and transfers of pollutants, and Mexico were very few plants for wastewater treatment these reporting in 2006. In addition, nitro compounds and ammonia (two pollutants emitted water in greater proportions by the Canadian and American establishments) are exempt from registration in Mexico.

"The effectiveness of regional cooperation in environmental matters depends on having comparable and complete data", said the executive director of the CCA, Evan Lloyd. "The CCA is dedicated to supporting the continued collaboration of these three countries in order to improve this information." "Balance and data and tri-national analysis of CCA they constitute an important tool for Governments, industry and citizens to address the problem of pollution and ensure the health of communities and ecosystems."

This edition of on balance presents two case studies which examines the emission of pollutants to the binational watershed of the Bravo and Columbia rivers, and is highlight pollutants of special interest, including toxic metals such as leadchromium and mercury and their compounds. For the first time, combining the Cartographic layer of river basins of the environmental Atlas of North America, of the CCA, with integrated data from the release of North America, it is possible to locate sources of pollution that affect each of these two shared river systems. For example, the report shows that the majority of registered emissions of two toxic metals (mercury and lead) to Bravo and Columbia rivers from sources located in Canada and Mexico, respectively.


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