Indiana remains one of the states with the highest level of pollution from coal-fired power plants, according to a major new report from the nonprofit Environmental Integrity Project (EIP) which rates power plants both in terms of sheer mercury pollution and mercury pollution adjusted per kilowatt.
The report from the Environmental Integrity Project rates the power plants both in terms of sheer mercury pollution and mercury pollution adjusted per kilowatt hour.
The 12 states with the most plants in the top 50 in terms of mercury pollution are Texas (7, including half of the 10 worst), Pennsylvania (5), Alabama, (4, including the worst plant and also 2 of the 10 worst), Georgia (4, including 1 of the 10 worst), Ohio (3), Indiana (3), North Dakota (3), Missouri (2, with 1 of the 5 worst), Kansas (2), North Carolina (2), Wisconsin (2), and Arkansas (2). Minnesota was unique in terms of having one of the 10 worst plants, but no second plant among the 50 worst.
Coal-fired power plants are the single largest source of mercury air pollution, accounting for roughly 40 percent of all mercury emissions nationwide, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
Mercury is a highly toxic metal that, once released into the atmosphere, settles in lakes and rivers, where it moves up the food chain to humans. The Centers for Disease Control has found that roughly 6 percent of American women carry mercury concentrations at levels considered to put a fetus at risk of neurological damage.
For the full text of the EIP report, go to http://www.environmentalintegrity.org on the Web.
The Environmental Integrity Project (http://www.environmentalintegrity.org) is a nonpartisan and nonprofit organization established in March 2002 to advocate for more effective enforcement of environmental laws. EIP was founded by Eric Schaeffer, who was director of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Office of Regulatory Enforcement. He resigned in 2002 after publicly expressing his frustration with efforts of the Bush Administration to weaken enforcement of the Clean Air Act and other laws.