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Biggest Polluters by Industry

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The list of biggest polluters in the United States includes some of the most well-known industries. These include construction, agriculture, and energy. All these industries have a high rate of pollution and a large amount of greenhouse gas emissions.

Land use

If we are to successfully mitigate the effects of global warming we must be mindful of land use. Whether it's agriculture, forestry or the built environment, it's all about the choices we make about how we manage and use the land we have. The re-use of existing resources is an important aspect of land resource management.

It's not surprising that the most effective way to mitigate climate change is to minimize emissions. For example, a quarter of all produced food goes waste. And the amount of greenhouse gases emitted by the industrial sector is growing.

Power plants

Coal-fired power plants continue to emit an enormous amount of air pollution. They emit sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxides and particulate matter, all of which are harmful to human health.

Earlier this year, the EPA announced it was stepping up its efforts to address energy industry pollution. The agency said it would issue several rules and regulations on power plants in the coming year. It also announced plans to cut emissions from several major categories.


Construction is one of the largest contributors to global greenhouse gas emissions. In fact, the construction sector produces 11% of the world's total carbon emissions, with half of that coming from the materials used in construction.

The construction industry is also a major contributor to air pollution. Many of the chemicals used in construction processes are harmful. This can lead to worker illness and air pollution.

Although the construction industry is resurging, it is also facing a number of challenges. These include the need to expand to accommodate a growing population. It is also a resource-intensive industry that requires high levels of energy consumption.

Food production

The food industry produces a variety of air pollutants. For example, livestock farms produce methane, which is a powerful greenhouse gas. In addition, agricultural runoff and pesticides pollute waterways and other ecosystems. This pollution has been linked to illnesses, medical conditions, and the deaths of millions of children worldwide.

There are two main sources of these emissions. One is agriculture itself, the other is transportation. Emissions are reported to the United Nations in different categories.

Lead smelting

Lead smelters are one of the largest polluters in the metals industry. They release lead into Harbor Island soils through fugitive lead dust emissions from smelter buildings. These releases have caused a number of preventable public health crises.

In 1973, EPA identified BSER as the applicable opacity level for secondary lead smelters. Secondary lead smelters are facilities that use a combination of suppression and control devices to reduce PM emissions and opacity levels.


Aircraft are one of the largest polluters in the industrial sector, contributing to a growing global carbon footprint. They generate five to ten times the emissions of a bus or car. The impact of aircraft emissions on local air quality at ground level can be significant.

Aviation emissions represent almost a quarter of the global carbon budget under the 1.5 degree scenario, and are expected to continue rising until 2050. A new study suggests that the aviation industry could consume more than a quarter of the world's carbon budget.


Petroleum refining is one of the largest contributors to climate change and air pollution in the U.S. It is necessary to reduce emissions in order to protect the environment and the people who depend on it. Several technologies are available to improve the industry's environmental performance.

Refineries are often the source of hazardous air pollutants, including nitrogen oxides (NOx), carbon monoxide, and benzene. These chemicals are known to cause birth defects, cancer, and other health problems.


The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates that there are approximately 1,600 landfills in 41 states. These landfills account for 15 percent of human-caused methane emissions in the U.S.

Landfills also emit a variety of other pollutants. Methane is a potent greenhouse gas that is 86 times more powerful than carbon dioxide. Wastewater treatment plants also release methane and fluorinated gases.

Another form of pollution associated with landfills is the deposition of materials that are not biodegradable. A few examples of this include construction and demolition waste, concrete, bricks, and asphalt.


Agricultural emissions are a critical contributor to global climate change. They account for almost one-quarter of human-caused greenhouse gas emissions.

As the world population grows, the demand for food increases. To feed this growing population, agriculture will need to expand. This expansion will result in an increase in emissions from agricultural activities.

These emissions include the direct emissions of carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, and nitrogen. In addition, indirect emissions include land-use changes and deforestation.