In its announcement today regarding the proposal of new air standards for mercury emissions from coal-fired power plants, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency stated that more than half of the coal-fired plants in the nation have already implemented control technologies that allow them to meet the standards.
For your information in reporting about the situation in West Virginia, the WVDEP’s Division of Air Quality is providing a chart showing the amount of mercury reductions that have been achieved by coal-fired power plants in West Virginia in the last decade through the use of controls installed to comply with air rules aimed at reducing air pollutants other than mercury.
The attached bar chart shows that from 2000 to 2009, coal-fired power plants in West Virginia reduced mercury emissions by about 4,500 pounds, or 64 percent.
The WV Division of Air Quality expects to see additional reductions in the 2010 data once it is received due to control devices that were installed by coal-fired power plants last year.
Beyond the actions taken by coal-fired power plants to reduce emissions over the past several years, other factors that affected the trends in toxic air releases from 2000 through 2009 included variability in coal composition; increased awareness of reporting; and changing demands on power output.
To view bar chart click here.