Report - Coal Power Plants
Posted 09 March 2011 - 03:33 PM
American Lung Association sounds call for cleanup in advance of EPA deadline
TUESDAY, March 8 (HealthDay News) -- Coal-fired power plants emit a wide-range of unregulated pollutants that pose a threat to public health, warns a report released Tuesday by the American Lung Association.
The document comes out one week before the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's deadline to present a proposal for cleaning up the toxic pollution from coal-fired power plants.
According to the report, coal-fired power plants produce more hazardous air pollution in the United States than any other industrial pollution sources. More than 400 coal-fired power plants in 46 states release in excess of 386,000 tons of hazardous air pollutants into the atmosphere each year, it says.
No national standards are in place to limit such pollutants as toxic metals and metal-like substances like arsenic and lead; mercury; dioxins; acid gases like hydrogen chloride; and chemicals known or believed to cause cancer, such as formaldehyde, benzene and radioisotopes, the report notes.
But the EPA has a court-imposed deadline of March 16 to issue a plan to alleviate this toxic pollution from coal-fired power plants.
"It's time that we end the 'toxic loophole' that has allowed coal-burning power plants to operate without any federal limits on emissions of mercury, arsenic, dioxin, acid gases such as hydrogen chloride and other dangerous pollutants," Charles D. Connor, president and CEO of the American Lung Association, said in an association news release. "The American public has waited long enough -- more than two decades. We are counting on EPA to protect all Americans from the health risks imposed by these dangerous pollutants once and for all."
"People living closest to these plants, especially children, seniors and those with chronic disease, face the greatest risk, but it doesn't stop there," Connor noted. "Pollution from coal-fired power plants takes flight and travels far into other states, threatening public health."
Most coal-fired power plants are in the Midwest and Southeast.
The report also listed pollution control technologies already used in some coal-fired power plants that are readily available for installation at other plants to reduce toxic emissions.
Posted 09 March 2011 - 04:54 PM
Posted 14 March 2011 - 03:46 PM
"More than 20 years since the EPA was first mandated to tackle hazardous emissions from coal power-plants, it is only now that real action is in sight. In a report released yesterday, the The American Lung Association pressed the EPA to finally close a two-decade 'toxic loophole' that has allowed older plants to continue polluting."
This is from the same article:
"The solution has been at hand for 20 years, though, in the Clean Air Act of 1990. Congress added requirements to that law for the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to clean out these toxins from smokestack fumes. But a rear-guard action by vested interests has kept these measures from being properly enacted, on all coal power-plants.
That now has to change, due to court-mandated deadline to implement the ''maximum achievable control technology'' on existing and new power plants. The EPA has until 16 March to outline new proposals to implement the controls. And the good news is that not only is the technology already there to screen out toxins, the measures are supported by many in the power utility industry.
An open letter by a number of the heads of major US utility companies, to the Wall Street Journal, dismisses concerns that jobs will be lost. They see jobs being created, in a win-win-win for the environment, public health, and efficient power generating technologies. The real question is why it has taken two decades for such an obvious consensus to produce meaningful results."
I would hate to think that the government would try to run anyone out of business, but I am not naive enough to think it impossible if not probable. Actually, with all of the manufactures that have moved out of the country and taken the jobs with them, it seems we do a pretty good job of that all by ourselves.
Posted 14 March 2011 - 09:32 PM
Posted 15 March 2011 - 09:45 AM
Unions Take Issue With EPA Regulations, Warn of Potential for Lost Jobs
Published March 14, 2011
| The Wall Street Journal
The Obama administration's environmental agenda, long a target of American business, is beginning to take fire from some of the Democratic Party's most reliable supporters: Labor unions.
Several unions with strong influence in key states are demanding that the Environmental Protection Agency soften new regulations aimed at pollution associated with coal-fired power plants. Their contention: Roughly half a dozen rules expected to roll out within the next two years could put thousands of jobs in jeopardy and damage the party's 2012 election prospects.
"If the EPA issues regulations that cost jobs in Pennsylvania and Ohio, the Republicans will blast the President with it over and over," says Stewart Acuff, chief of staff to the president of the Utility Workers Union of America. "Not just the President. Every Democratic [lawmaker] from those states."
Several unions with strong influence in key states are demanding that the EPA soften new regulations aimed at pollution associated with coal-fired power plants.
A range of American companies that depend on fossil fuel-from coal and oil firms to manufacturers-have complained about the Obama EPA, one reason the administration has had tense relations with business. In meetings in recent days, representatives of electric power utilities that rely heavily on coal-fired plants, and some large unions, have taken their concerns to the White House. The companies and the unions have said a new regulation targeting mercury and other toxic pollutants, due to be proposed this week, could lead to higher electric bills, billions of dollars in new costs and the closing of plants that employ thousands of workers.
Now that labor unions are joining the chorus, the pressure on the agency is intensifying. Some Democrats, worried about potential job losses in industrial states, are already urging the EPA to slow down its push to combat climate change.
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