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Report: Industrial Pollution On The Rise, Pa. Among Biggest Culprits

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) -- A new report indicates that industrial pollution is on the rise across the country, and the Keystone State is one of the worst offenders.

Pennsylvania ranks number two in the nation when it comes to exceeding the limits the Clean Water Act permits. That's according to the 484 which reviewed compliance data from January 2016 through September 2017.

"Six-hundred-sixty-three times major industrial facilities in the state of Pennsylvania exceeded their clean water permits and dumped everything from sewage to toxic carcinogens to really hot water that kills fish into our streams and rivers," says Stephanie Wein, the center's clean water advocate.

Wein says that the worst offender is not a privately-owned industrial facility, but actually a taxpayer-funded state prison; Graterford in Montgomery County. She says Graterford had 80 exceedances to be precise.

"So it's disappointing that a state facility is the leader in this rather dubious category," she said.

The report claims nearly 20,000 miles of rivers and streams in Pennsylvania are still considered unsafe for fishing and swimming and the trend is pointing downward as the Trump administration slashes funding for enforcement of Clean Water Act regulations.

Pennsylvania ranks only second behind Texas in the report.

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