These are the most polluting industries in Canada and the U.S. – by Daniel Otis (CTV News – May 2, 2023)

Mining creates more pollutants than any other industry in North America, according to a new report. By analyzing data from approximately 24,000 industrial facilities in Canada, Mexico and the United States, the report, published Tuesday by the Montreal-based Commission for Environmental Cooperation (CEC), tracked over five billion kilograms of industrial pollutants created on the continent each year.

Together, the three countries reportedly released or transferred more than 5.2 billion kilograms of industrial pollutants in 2020 alone, with 46 per cent, or 2.4 billion kg, coming from Canada. Only 18 million kg (0.35 per cent) were reported from Mexico, while 2.7 billion kg (53 per cent) came from the U.S.

The largest overall amounts of industrial pollutants were reported by the mining industry (36 per cent), followed by primary metal manufacturing (12 per cent), chemical manufacturing (11 per cent) and oil and gas extraction (seven per cent).

When it came to industrial pollutants released into the air, chemical manufacturing (26 per cent) led paper manufacturing (19 per cent), utilities like wastewater treatment (13 per cent) and food manufacturing (seven per cent). Such utilities discharged the most pollutants into surface water (56 per cent) followed by food manufacturers (16 per cent), petroleum and coal product makers (six per cent) and primary metal manufacturing (five per cent).

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