An article from this morning's paper describing pollution to rivers and waterways. This is absolutely disgusting to me. I seriously believe the money hungry business owners who okay this stuff should be relieved of their duties and shot. http://www.thetimes-tribune.com/news/waterways_burdened_by_pollution_report_says More than 2.6 million pounds of toxic chemicals were dumped into the Susquehanna River in 2007, making it one of the 20 rivers in the country most inundated by industrial releases. The same year, 10 million pounds of chemicals were discharged into Pennsylvania's waterways, more than all but five other states. Those numbers, compiled by PennEnvironment in a report released Wednesday, reveal a bleak picture of the sources of pollution that continue to burden state rivers tainted by centuries of industrial use. "Nearly 16,000 miles of Pennsylvania's waterways are already unsafe for fishing and swimming," PennEnvironment field organizer Adam Garber said during a press conference on the steps of Scranton City Hall on Wednesday morning. "The report today shows more and more pollution is getting dumped into our waterways and streams, and that's unacceptable." The report examined the federal government's Toxic Release Inventory for 2007, the most recent year available, which tracks releases of certain toxic chemicals from industrial facilities. The PennEnvironment report highlights discharges of cancer-causing chemicals, those that persist in the environment and those that have the potential to cause reproductive problems. The federal data provides a snapshot of industrial pollution at its source in a specific waterway, Mr. Garber said, but it does not account for historical pollution in the rivers or the accumulation of pollution across a river basin. For example, according to the report, Cargill Meat Solutions Corp. in Wyalusing Twp., Bradford County, discharged 1.5 million tons of toxic chemicals - most significantly nitrate compounds from animal waste - into Wyalusing Creek in 2007, making it the second worst polluter in the state. Osram Sylvania Products Inc. in Towanda, dumped 1.4 million pounds of toxins, including nitrates and ammonia, into the Susquehanna River during the same year. "Wyalusing Creek flows into the Susquehanna River," Mr. Garber said. "They get even more polluted down the road. So the situation for the Susquehanna is much worse than it looks here." Bernie McGurl, executive director of the Lackawanna River Corridor Association, pointed out legacy pollution is a major problem for local waterways. "Along the Lackawanna River, we're still dealing with the legacy of 150 years of the anthracite coal mining industry," he said. Even now, "the water runs through piles of very acidic, very toxic coal waste." Local rivers are also strained by antiquated municipal sewage treatment plants that cause toxic discharges but will cost millions of dollars to upgrade. "They don't have the resources to do the job," he said. "We need more funding on the state and federal level to support the local sewer upgrades." PennEnvironment's recommendations to curb pollution include pressing industrial facilities to use safer alternatives to toxic chemicals; tightening permit controls and increasing enforcement "with credible penalties, not just warning letters"; and making sure small streams and headwaters are protected under the federal Clean Water Act. Mr. Garber said PennEnvironment plans to release new reports in the coming weeks about another pollutant of concern in the state: wastewater from natural gas drilling operations.