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      Report ranks South Carolina in "Toxic 20" states

      South Carolina ranks as one of the worst states as far as toxic air pollution from electric power plants, according to a report from the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC).

      The NRDC's report, known as the "Toxic 20", ranks South Carolina 13th among states in industrial toxic air pollution in 2010, emitting more than 9.3 million pounds of harmful chemicals.

      The NRDC says pollution from South Carolina power plants accounted for 36 percent of the state's pollution and about three percent of toxic pollution from all U.S. power plants.

      The report uses the latest federal Toxics Release Inventory (TRI) data collected by the Environmental Protection Agency, according to the NRDC.

      TRI include pollutants such as mercury, hydrochloric acid, sulfuric acid and ammonia, says the council.

      In a press release, the council says it ranks the "Toxic 20" states whose residents are exposed to the most toxic air pollution from coal and-oil-fired power plants.

      This is the second year NRDC has released its list of the "Toxic 20".

      The silver lining is the report also found a 19 percent decrease nationally in all air toxics emitted from power plants in 2010 compared to 2009 levels.

      Kentucky ranks at the top of the list followed by Ohio and Pennsylvania.