An environmental group said South Carolina's coal-fired power plants and paper mills are keeping the state among the nation's worst industrial polluters.
The National Resources Defense Council said in a report released Thursday that the state's industries pumped 26.2 million pounds of toxic chemicals into the air in 2010. That's more pollution than industries in the 17 lowest-polluting states combined.
South Carolina ranked No. 13 in the environmental watchdog group's report, improving two spots from last year. Kentucky, Ohio and Pennsylvania topped the list.
The report said South Carolina's power companies were responsible for 36 percent of the state's industrial air pollution.
Santee Cooper and SCANA, South Carolina's utilities, said they have spent millions on environmental upgrades and have cut toxic releases significantly.
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