Sediment quality and toxic inputs to the Gulf of Mexico
Fox, Catherine A.
States bordering the Gulf of Mexico discharge hundreds of thousands of pounds of toxic pollutants into the Gulf waters each year. Most notable are Texas and Louisiana, with their massive petrochemical complexes that generate more toxic waste in total volume and on a per capita basis than any other state in the nation. Recognizing the importance of assessing the amounts, kinds, and potential impacts of toxic releases into Gulf estuaries, the Toxics and Pesticides Subcommittee of the Gulf of Mexico Program developed two important databases -- the Toxics Release Inventory and the Contaminated Sediments Inventory. This paper provides an overview of the information contained in these databases and discusses briefly the results of preliminary evaluations designed to identify both chemicals and estuaries of concern of the Gulf coast.