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Hamilton County lags in pollution reduction

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CHATTANOOGA, TN (Times Free Press) -

Hamilton County has come a long way in cleaning up its dirty manufacturing past, but federal environmental reports show it still needs to keep close tabs on its manufacturing future.

Based on 10 years of data, the county lags behind the nation, region and state in reducing its toxic emissions footprint from manufacturing -- even though the biggest local contributor is hailed as one of the cleanest automobile plants in the world.

According to the Environmental Protection Agency's annual Toxic Release Inventory, since 2002 the United States has reduced toxic emission releases by 1.1 billion pounds -- from 4.7 billion pounds in 2002 to 3.6 billion in 2012. The reduction is near the weight of 13,750 fully loaded 18-wheelers.

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