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Anheuser-Busch pushes back against top polluter claim in recent report

Oswego River.jpg
Kim
/
Flickr

Representatives for the Anheuser-Busch brewery in Baldwinsville are disputing an environment group’s recent claims that the facility is the top polluter to a nearby watershed.

The report released Wednesday by the nonprofit Environment America said the 1.1 million pounds of toxins that the beer facility discharges into the Oswego watershed ranks the highest in the state.

However, an Anheuser-Busch spokesperson for the beer company said the report relies on incomplete data that falsely identifies the Central New York facility as the largest contributor.

Environment America’s own report acknowledged the limitations of its data in its methodology section. The data used to inform the report comes from information companies self-report to the EPA’s Toxic Release Inventory, or TRI, but not every industrial facility must do so, the report states.

A spokesperson for Anheuser-Busch, which has its own water treatment system, said this therefore doesn’t consider any toxic discharge coming from companies that may rely on municipal treatment facilities.

"Due to these reporting processes, this leads to Anheuser-Busch’s discharge appearing higher than others that funnel their water through a municipal treatment center. The brewery’s wastewater discharge is within all state and federal discharge limits, and Anheuser-Busch continues to be committed to being a good steward of the environment,” the company said in a statement.

The Oswego watershed serves large parts of Central New York and the Southern Tier.