Wisconsin sees slight jump in toxic releases in 2017

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- The Environmental Protection Agency found a slight increase in Wisconsin's toxic chemical releases in 2017, but environmental advocates say the state has nonetheless seen much improvement over the last decade.

Wisconsin industrial facilities reported to the federal agency that almost 360 million pounds of chemical waste was a byproduct of their production in 2017, the most recent reporting period. It's a 5 percent uptick from 2016.

But environmentalists point to industrial facilities having cut toxic air emissions in half over the past 10 years. Wisconsin Public Radio reports that facilities released 2.9 million pounds of waste into waters in 2017, down from 4.1 million pounds in 2007.

Susan Hedman, an attorney for environmental advocates Clean Wisconsin, says the state has done more to prevent chemical waste releases in recent years.