Enjoy, Explore, and Protect the Planet Sierra Club Allegheny Group, Pennsylvania Chapter

Coal Campaign Power Plants

Dirty Coal: Mercury in Local Power-Plant Emissions

In a report released January 26 Environmental Action document how mercury emissions from coal-fired power plants continue to threaten our nation’s health. This report comes at the same time that some in Congress are moving to curb EPA’s authority to regulate similar emissions.

According to the report, in 2009 power plants in Pennsylvania emitted the second highest amount of mercury in the country, 15,550 lbs to Texas’ 16,350 lbs. Ohio was a distant third with 9,518 lbs and West Virginia fourth with 6,795 lbs.

Among the highest mercury polluting plants in the nation the RRI Energy’s Keystone power plant in Shelocta is ranked second with 2,164 lbs in 2009, the RRI Energy’s Conemaugh power plant in New Florence is fourth with 2,060 lbs, and the Cambria Cogen plant in Ebensburg is ranked eighth with 1,644 lbs.

Bring up the rear among the Top Twenty Five are the RRI Energy’s Shawville plant, number 24 with 1,071 lbs, and our old friend RRI Energy’s
Bruce Mansfield power plant in Shippingport with 1,023 lbs.

As for the statewide plans to reduce mercury emissions from power plants: “The Pennsylvania Supreme Court’s decision that took place on December 23, 2009 puts an end to state efforts to specially regulate mercury emissions from power plants in Pennsylvania – through the Pennsylvania Mercury Rule – at least until the EPA sets new federal mercury regulations, or until legislation is passed in Pennsylvania authorizing the adoption of mercury regulations.”

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