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Friday, March 4 2005

Mercury round-up

A lot of breaking news on mercury today that deserves the attention of anyone who eats fish or cares about wildlife or unborn children. (I think that’s everyone.)

The Albuquerque Tribune carries this outstanding editorial calling for state action. New Mexico’s older coal-fired power plants are a signifcant source of mercury emissions and other pollution in the United States. Current New Mexico law prohibits the state from having stricter standards than the federal Clean Air Act; given that the Administration’s under-ambitious plans for mercury emissions, this editorial is calling on the state Legislature to step up.

In North Carolina, the state’s Attorney General is taking action against the EPA for allowing coal plants in other states to pollute North Carolina’s waterways. North Carolina also has stricter standards for mercury emissions than the federal government.

In Washington, the state legislature is looking at a bill that would tackle mercury from obsolete automobiles. In essence, the bill would require auto recyclers to take mercury out of cars before compacting them. Dismantled cars will be a mercury emissions source for at least another 10 years, though certainly not on the scale of coal-fired power plants.

The New Jersey legislature is also looking at a similar bill. New Jersey may be reacting to recent news that there’s a lot more mercury in the state’s fish than the US EPA anticipated.

Finally one of the objections from the power generation industry to new regulations on emissions is that scrubbing technology is too expensive. ADA-ES, an environmental technology company, announced yesterday that its new product reduces mercury emissions by 90%, even on Wyoming coal, which has been particularly problematic for scrubbing technology. This is good news for Kansas, which burns a good deal of Wyoming coal.

+ Dan @ 01:09pm


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