liveonearth (liveonearth) wrote,
liveonearth
liveonearth

New EPA limits on Mercury Emissions Balanced by Particulate Increase

The EPA's new rule is a compromise between public health and corporate profits. Nothing comes for free. Particulates cause increased cardiovascular and respiratory disease and have neurological effects as well. The new rule is called MATS: Mercury and Air Toxics Standards. Obama can't get anything done through congress, but he is still working his evil socialist ways via agencies designed to protect public interests. I for one appreciate some attention given to public health: better to have some reasonably devised limits than to simply let industry poison us for greater profit, even if we WANT the product of that industry.

The EPA proposal incorporates three separate limits: one for mercury, a second for acid gases and a third for particulate matter, which is used to target emissions of metals such as chromium, selenium and cadmium.

In its March proposal, it said the regulation could prevent 17,000 premature deaths from toxic emissions. Today it lowered that estimate to 11,000, according to the statement. Jackson said improved estimates for benefits from a rule to combat pollution across state borders leaves the mercury standard with fewer toxics to remove.

The changes announced today include easing off on mandatory controls for particulate matter, dispatching with pollution caps when plants are starting up or shutting down, and allowing companies greater leeway to average mercury emissions across units. Those changes will save utilities about $1 billion annually, EPA said in a fact sheet.


For more: http://www.businessweek.com/news/2011-12-21/epa-issues-air-toxics-cap-for-u-s-coal-fired-power-plants.html

For the rule straight from the EPA: http://www.epa.gov/airquality/powerplanttoxics/actions.html
Tags: air, cadmium, electricity, environmentalism, epa, heavy metals, mercury, obama, power, selenium
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