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Industries in Minnesota discharged more than 2 million pounds of toxic substances into the state's rivers and streams in 2007, according to a new report by an environmental advocacy group.

Those discharges, mostly into the watershed of the Mississippi River, accounted for roughly 1 percent of the toxic releases nationwide, Environment Minnesota reported today.

The data was gleaned from the annual Toxic Release Inventory compiled by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

Environment Minnesota is using the data to push for toughening provisions of the federal Clean Water Act and its efforts were endorsed by Rep. Jim Oberstar, D-Minn., who said enforcement of the act has deteriorated.

In a news release, Oberstar said continuing toxic releases have "very frightening, tangible impacts on human health and the environment."

The Mississippi ranked third nationally in the amount of toxics discharged into its watershed in 2007, receiving 12.7 million pounds of pollutants, according to the report.

The Ohio River was the most-polluted, followed by the New River.

About half of the toxic discharges in Minnesota came from 3M production facilities, according to the report. A company spokesman said 3M reduced water discharges from its plants by 60 percent last year. Other large polluters cited were the Flint Hills Resources refinery in Rosemount and the Boise White Paper plant in International Falls.

Discharges are regulated by permits issued to companies by the EPA and do not violate provisions of the Clean Water Act.