Florida Power Corp. Friday reported the amounts of toxic chemicals its plants released into the environment last year.
This is the first year utilities have been required to file a Toxics Release Inventory to the Environmental Protection Agency. The report, which manufacturing plants have been required to file since 1986, looks at 650 chemicals.
“It gives you a more comprehensive picture of what’s going into the air, the water, the land,” said Lois Epstein, senior engineer for the Environmental Defense Fund. “It doesn’t mean it’s safe, it doesn’t mean it’s unsafe. It provides a starting point for discussions.”
Independent studies by the Harvard Center for Risk Analysis and the EPA said the emissions from power plants pose no significant health risk.
The numbers must be reported to the EPA July 1, but Florida Power made the information available to the public on its Web site Friday. It is the state’s second-largest power utility.
Tampa Electric Co., the Bay area’s other large electric utility, plans to release its results later this month.
Florida Power had reportable amounts of emissions of 17 substances from four plants for 1998: Anclote plant in southwestern Pasco County, Bartow plant in eastern Pinellas County, Suwanee plant in Suwanee County, and the Crystal River Energy Complex in Citrus County, the state’s largest power plant.
The largest emissions were: hydrochloric acid, 7.4 million pounds; sulfuric acid, 1.3 million pounds; and hydrogen fluoride, 1.2 million pounds.
The other substances included zinc, nickel and lead, which occur in coal ash.
Florida Power collects 98 percent of its ash using pollution-control devices, spokeswoman Melanie Forbrick said.