ANCHORAGE (AP) -- A new report from the Environmental Protection Agency says hardrock mining accounted for about half of all toxic releases from industrial facilities required to report pollution data.
The federal agency said Alaska's Red Dog mine ranked No. 2 on its list of Top 10 mining facilities nationwide releasing the most toxic material.
Last year, it ranked fifth.
No. 1 on the new list is the Kennecott Utah copper mine in Copperton, Utah.
In Red Dog's case, the toxic release the agency refers to is the large amount of waste rock the mine moves each year.
The rock contains naturally occurring heavy metals like lead and zinc, which can be toxic to humans in large amounts. The metals can leach out and cause contamination unless they're properly contained, the agency said.
The oil and gas industries are not required to submit pollution data for the report.
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