The Pollution Abatement Costs and Expenditures 2005 report, published this month by the US Department of Commerce, Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the US Census Bureau, surveyed about 20,000 plants nationwide.

It shows that manufacturers spent an estimated $5.9bn from capital expenditure budgets and just under $20.7bn of operating costs.

The survey, which is the latest in a series that began in 1973, was revised before collection of the 2005 data in a bid to improve accuracy.

The industries with the highest capital expenditures and operating costs on pollution abatement and treatment in 2005 were – unsurprisingly – petroleum and coal products manufacturing, and chemical manufacturing.

Businesses in Texas accounted for the highest expenditure with almost $1.2bn in capital expenditures and more than $2.6bn in operating costs.

Louisiana had the second highest capital expenditure at almost $488m, while California had the second highest operating costs at almost $1.9bn.

Of the capital costs, $3.1bn was spent on treatment or capture, $372.6m on recycling, $318m on disposal and $2.1bn on prevention.

About half of the operating costs were spent on treatment or capture of pollution, $1.7m on recycling, $4.6 on disposal and $3.6 on prevention.

The operation costs included salaries, wages and benefits for staff, energy costs, materials and supplies, contract work and depreciation.

Kate Martin

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