EPA pilots outreach on toxic releases in South Philly

By Carolyn Beeler (Newsworks/Keystone Crossroads)

Residents in South Philadelphia are getting one-on-one help learning about toxic chemicals released in their neighborhoods as part of an Environmental Protection Agency pilot program.

EPA epidemiologist Carol Ann Gross-Davis has been sitting down in computer labs with residents, demonstrating how to find and interpret federal pollution reporting data for more than 650 chemicals.

“A lot of the information has already been accessible through EPA’s website, however, if you don’t know what you’re looking for, it’s really difficult to navigate all the information that’s available,” Gross-Davis said.

After focus-group meetings, Gross-Davis’s team developed a fact sheet highlighting chemical releases in South Philadelphia from the former Sunoco refinery and five other facilities.

It shows that 11 percent of the chemicals released from the six sites in 2012 are carcinogenic.

Full story.

Editor’s note: You can explore the EPA’s interactive chemical map here.

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