Data from the EPA 2016 Toxic Release Inventory indicates that in Accomack County, the Perdue Farms Accomac Processing Plant released nitrate compounds and hydrogen sulfide, totaling almost 800,000 pounds of pollution.
The Toxics Release Inventory (TRI) tracks the management of certain toxic chemicals that may pose a threat to human health and the environment. Certain industrial facilities in the U.S. must report annually how much of each chemical is recycled, combusted for energy recovery, treated for destruction, and disposed of or otherwise released on- and off-site. This information is collectively referred to as production-related waste managed.
Note: the pollution released from these factories is all permitted. According to the EPA’s enforcement and compliance history online database, Jewell Coke Co., the Clover Power Station and the Perdue Farms Accomac Processing Plant all are currently in compliance with the Clean Air Act, the Clean Water Act and the Resources Conservation and Recovery Act.
There is a connection between large amounts of pollution and high poverty rates.
Accomac, like other areas on the list, has large amounts of pollution with few residents, giving them high rates of pollution per person. Clover and Accomac are also above the average poverty rate for Virginia.
Of the 10 ZIP codes with the most pollution per person, six are above the state’s average poverty rate. Six of the top 10 ZIP codes with the highest total pounds of pollution are also above Virginia’s average poverty rate.