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[cdn-nucl-l] Green groups want mercury limited at U.S. power plants
Don't WE want the same thing ?
Green groups want mercury limited at U.S. power plants
WASHINGTON, June 13 (Reuters) - A coalition of clean air organizations on
Tuesday called for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to regulate
mercury emissions from coal-fired power plants, saying such emissions can
have devastating affects on children's health.
The environmental coalition wants the government to develop national mercury
standards for electric utilities that would mandate at least a 90 percent
reduction from coal-fired plants over the next decade.
"For 10 years, the electric utility industry has enjoyed special treatment
under the Clean Air Act for its toxic air releases. It's time we hold them
to the same standards imposed on other major polluters," said Angela
Ledford, director of Clear the Air: National Campaign Against Dirty Power.
The group is a coalition made of the Clean Air Task Force, National
Environmental Trust and the U.S. Public Interest Research Group Education
The green groups made their case at a public hearing called by the EPA in
Chicago, where groups from all sides of the issue were permitted to speak
about what should be done, if anything, to curb mercury emissions from power
At the same hearing, the Edison Electric Institute -- the trade group
representing the nation's largest publicly traded utilities -- said EPA
should move on the mercury issue only after making an informed decision.
"There are significant uncertainties to be addressed in order for EPA to
make an informed decision on mercury," said Michael Rossler, EEI manager of
Among the questions outstanding were several identified by EPA in its 1998
report to Congress on emissions from utility steam generating units, like
the human health effects due to exposure and the contribution of natural
sources of mercury emissions, the EEI said.
A spokesman for the agency said the EPA decision on mercury regulations
would not come "for at least several months."
EPA has issued new directives in the last year to sharply cut smog pollution
from power plants, tailpipe emissions from cars and larger vehicles and to
clean gasoline and diesel fuels of harmful sulfur content levels.