Thursday, January 31, 2008

Alabama rates 48th in 'green' survey

Alabama is one of the three most polluting, least energy-efficient states in the nation, according to a survey conducted and published by Forbes magazine.
The survey compared air quality, environmental policies, energy efficiency, regulations governing hazardous waste disposal and other factors.

Alabama ranked as the 48th least "green" state in the nation, beating only Indiana and West Virginia, both of them homes to numerous Superfund sites and heavy industrial operations, such as coal mines or steel mills.

Mississippi and Louisiana ranked 46th and 47th, respectively. According to the Forbes article, the five states at the bottom of the list "all suffer from a mix of

toxic waste, lots of pollution and consumption and no clear plans to do anything about it. Expect them to remain that way."

"There are obviously multiple leadership opportunities in the state of Alabama to help make us greener and healthier," said Dr. Bert Eichold, Mobile County health officer.

Famously "green" states Vermont, Oregon and Washington topped the list but were followed closely by states not normally associated with being environmentally progressive.

For instance, New Jersey ranked seventh, and New York came in ninth.

In part, the rankings for those states -- each of them including sprawling urban areas and numerous chemical factories -- reflect changes made in state and federal laws to counter significant pollution problems in the 1970s and 80s, Forbes said.

Though not mentioned specifically by the article, air quality issues in the Northeast, such as the "acid rain" problems tied to coal-fired power plants, spurred greater environmental awareness in the heavily populated region.

from more here