Marys Medicine

Mercury alert: cleaning up coal plants for healthier lives


Mercury Alert: Cleaning up Coal Plants for Healthier Lives Coal-fired power plants are the primary source of toxic mercury air emissions in the U.S. Mercury pollution contaminates our land and waters, causing serious human health impacts. In this report, Environmental Defense Fund identifies the top 25 emitters of mercury from the electric sector. These 25 plants alone contribute nearly a third of all mercury emissions from the electric sector while only providing 8% of our nation's electricity. In short, a large amount of toxic mercury air pollution in America is caused by a small number of power plants that have not installed readily available pollution controls that others are already using. There are widely available, cost-effective, and tested technology solutions to reduce mercury pollution from power plants by more than 90%. Many states are leading the way in adopting policies to control mercury emissions, helping to drive investment in technology solutions. But we need to do more to clean up mercury pollution from plants that remain largely uncontrolled. The EPA Utility Air Toxics Rule will establish a much-needed national policy to reduce mercury emissions from the electric sector and to protect the health of every American. Coal-fired Power Plants Are the Primary Sources of U.S. Mercury Air Emissions Humans, especially infants and young children, are vulnerable to • Over 400,000 U.S. mercury pollution newborns are affected by Mercury in the air settles into surface waters or onto land where it is washed into water. Deposited in lakes and ponds, this mercury is converted by certain microorganisms to a highly mercury pollution each toxic form of the chemical known as methylmercury. Methylmercury accumulates in fish and shellfish, as well as birds and mammals that feed on fish. Humans are exposed to mercury when they eat contaminated fish and shellfish. Fish and shellfish are the main sources of human methylmercury exposure. Mercury exposure at high levels can harm the brain, heart, kidneys, lungs, and immune • Continuous deposition of system of people of all ages. Unborn babies and young children are particularly vulnerable to high levels of methylmercury in their bloodstreams. mercury in trace amounts, High levels of methylmercury can harm the developing nervous systems of fetuses and young as little as only one children, resulting in later difficulties thinking and learning. tablespoon by the end of An estimated average of 410,000 infants are born annually in the U.S. to mothers with blood mercury concentrations in excess of EPA's Reference Dose.1 an year, is enough to A small amount of mercury can contaminate a disproportionately large render fish in a 20-acre lake unfit for human According to the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency, precipitation and deposition of just 12.5 g/m2/yr (approximately the amount in a clinical thermometer per 20 acre per year) can contaminate water bodies rendering fish in them unfit for human consumption on a regular basis.2 Coal plants emit the majority of mercury air emissions in the U.S. • Coal-fired power plants Coal-fired power plants emit mercury by burning coal containing mercury. are responsible for almost In 2008, collectively, power plants were responsible for 72 percent of mercury air emissions in the U.S.3 three-quarters (35 tons) of In addition to mercury, coal plants also emit a number of other toxic air all mercury air emissions pollutants, including metals and acid gases, that are known or suspected to cause cancer, birth defects, and other serious health issues in humans. R. Mahaffey, NHANES 1999-2002 Update on Mercury & Northeast Regional Mercury Conference, U.S. EPA, April 2006 2 Minnesota Pollution Control Agency, Michigan Department of Natural Resources, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, (grant from U.S. Environmental Protection Agency), "Mercury in the Environment: The Waste Connection," 1995 3 M. J. Bradley & Associates. (2010). Benchmarking Air Emissions of the 100 Largest Electric Power Producers in the United States Percentage of River-Miles and Lake-Acres under Mercury Contamination Advisories Mercury deposition in lakes and ponds has resulted in fish consumption advisories and/or bans throughout the U.S. These advisories are primarily based on information about contaminant levels in fish collected by state and local advisory bodies. Percentage of U.S. waterbodies for which
advisories are currently in effect (2008)
• Nearly half of all U.S. river-miles Note: Although these numbers and lake-acres were under represent totals for multiple contaminants, including mercury, water contamination advisories. PCBs, and dioxins, mercury-related advisories account for almost 80 percent of the advisories. • Eighty percent of all water contamination advisories were issued because of mercury contamination. • Some 17 million lake-acres and 1.3 million river-miles were Coastal Waters Lake Acres (ex.
under mercury-related contamination advisories. Source: EPA, National Listing of Fish Advisories, 2008 http://water.epa.gov/scitech/swguidance/fishshellfish/fishadvisories/upload/2009_09_22_fish_advisories_nlfaslides.pdf Top 25 Mercury Emitting U.S. Coal Plants in 2009 and nearby Population Centers Twenty out of the top 25 mercury emitting coal plants are located within 50-100 miles of some of the largest metropolitan areas of the country including Chicago, Dallas, Houston, Atlanta, Minneapolis, Detroit, Pittsburgh, Cleveland, St. Louis, and Austin. Top-25 Mercury Emitting Coal Power Plant Coal-fired Power Plant Population: 1 dot = 15,000 Source: Proprietary Analysis, EIA 860 2009, EIA 923 2009, Ventyx Velocity Mercury Fish Consumption Advisories by State Includes state-issued fish advisories based on mercury contamination as of March 2011. Because monitoring and advisories are determined at the state level, only consumption advisories for a percentage of affected waterbodies are issued; therefore, this map reflects an under-representation of the number of actual waterbodies where the fish have concentrations of mercury that should be considered a concern to human health. No. of Current Statewide and Waterbody Advisories* Statewide advisories in addition to waterbody advisories Waterbody-specific advisories only Top-25 Mercury Emitting Coal Power Plant *Note: Many waterbodies have multiple advisories for individual fish species of concern. The
Source: Proprietary Analysis, EIA 860 2009, EIA 923 2009, EPA National Listing of Fish totals above may include multiple advisories per lake or river if issued by the individual state. Advisories, 2008 Many states also issue blanket statewide advisories in addition to specific warnings for individual waterbodies and/or species of fish. EPA National Listing of Fish Advisories Database accessed March 6, 2011 Top 25 Mercury Emitting U.S. Coal Plants in 2009 2009 Mercury Emissions (in lbs) James H Miller Jr, AL James M Gavin, OH The top 25 plants accounted for 11 tons of mercury emissions, out of a total of approximately 35 tons emitted by the entire U.S. electric sector. Sherburne County, MN Milton R Young, ND Nebraska City, NE Laramie River Stn, WY Reported Installations of Mercury Control Technology Since 2009 Reported Actual/Planned 2009 Mercury Emissions (in lbs) Installation Date of Activated Carbon Injection (ACI) System: James H Miller Jr, AL James M Gavin, OH Sherburne County, MN Milton R Young, ND Nebraska City, NE Laramie River Stn, WY 1,700 MW (2) Note: Even if plants have reportedly installed ACI, it is not clear at what capacity they are using it. Share of the Top 25 Mercury-Emitting U.S. Coal Plants in 2009 The top 25 mercury-emitting plants …while generating only 8 are responsible for almost one-third percent of total U.S. electricity of all U.S. electric sector mercury air emissions… 320 TWh out of a U.S. Total of 3,949 TWh in 2009 11 tons out of a U.S. Total of 35 tons in 2009 Technology and Policy Tools to Drive Mercury Emission Reductions The following section demonstrates how tested and cost-effective technology solutions to reduce mercury emissions are now widely available for all types of coal plants. Some states have adopted policies to reduce mercury emissions, but national standards are needed to protect the health of all Americans. Modern Mercury Controls are Being Broadly Deployed Activated Carbon Injection (ACI) is the primary technology being used to reduce mercury emissions
from new and existing coal plants. Data from power plants shows that the tested boilers achieved, on
average, reductions in mercury emissions of about 90 percent.
No. of coal-fired units already using or Coal-fired capacity already using or planning to use ACI technology planning to use ACI technology by region (based on ICAC data 2010) (based on ICAC data 2010) Northeast
Already installed Plans to install Mid Atlantic
Southwest
East
9.5 GW
• Mercury control technology is highly efficient and available for all coal types. • The 2008 cost to capture a pound of mercury was 1/6 the 1999 price. • As of June 2010, nearly 40 coal plant units had installed ACI and more than100 additional units had ordered the technology. These plants total more than 55,000 megawatts (MW) of generating capacity. State Regulations: Seventeen States Have Established Mercury Emission Limits on Coal Plants Since 1999, mercury air emissions from U.S. coal-fired power plants have decreased by almost 27 percent: from over 48 tons in 1999 to 35 tons in 2009. This overall reduction in mercury air emissions has been driven by several policies, including those established by states. State with mercury rule No state-level mercury rule Some states are making progress to reduce mercury emissions from the electric sector, but we need a strong national Utility Air Toxics rule to protect the health of all Americans. Data Sources, References, and Analysis Notes EIA FORM 923 POWER PLANT DATABASE (2009): EIA Form 923 provided almost all of the generation data analyzed in this analysis. EIA Form 923 provides data on the electric generation and heat input by fuel type for utility and non-utility power plants. The heat input and generation data were used to calculate weighted heat rates and mercury emission rates of the plants included in the report. This form is available at http://www.eia.doe.gov/cneaf/electricity/page/eia906_920.html EIA FORM 860 ANNUAL ELECTRIC GENERATOR REPORT (2009): EIA Form 860 is a generating unit level data source that includes information about generators at electric power plants, including information about generator ownership. EIA Form 860 was used as the primary source of power plant capacity and ownership for this report. The form is available at http://www.eia.doe.gov/cneaf/electricity/page/eia860.html EPA ACID RAIN PROGRAM DATABASE: EPA's Acid Rain Emissions Reporting Program accounts for all of the SO and NO emissions included in this analysis. These emissions were compiled using EPA's on-line emissions database EPA TOXIC RELEASE INVENTORY (TRI 2009): Power plants and other facilities are required to submit reports on the use and release of certain toxic chemicals to the TRI. The 2009 mercury emissions used in this report are based on TRI reports submitted by facility managers and which are available at http://www.epa.gov/tri/tridata/tri09/nationalanalysis/index.htm Plant ownership data are primarily based on EIA-860 database from the year 2009. Ownership is further checked against self-reported data from the holding company's 10-K form filed with the SEC. Pollution control equipment information is collated from multiple sources including EIA Form 860, EPA's National Electric Energy Data System (NEEDS v 4.10), EPA's Acid Rain Program Database, as well as trade industry press articles. U.S. Government Accountability Office Report to the Chairman, Subcommittee on Clean Air and Nuclear Safety, Committee on Environment and Public Works, U.S. Senate, "Mercury Control Technologies at Coal-Fired Power Plants Have Achieved Substantial Emissions Reductions," 2009. National Energy Technology Laboratory press release, "Mercury-Control Program Achieves Success," June 23, 2008. http://energy.ihs.com/News/utilities/2008/netl-mercury-control-program-062308.htm Institute of Clean Air Companies, "Updated Commercial Hg Control Technology Bookings," (June 2010). Online at: http://www.icac.com/files/members/Commercial_Hg_Bookings_060410.pdf Top 25 Mercury Emitting U.S. Coal Plants in 2009 Emission Rates (lbs/MWh) Factor* (Btu/KWh) Energy Future Holdings 15,703 71,842 9.19E-05 2,266.6 1.84 8.42 Energy Future Holdings ESP + Fabric Filter 55,547 1.77E-04 2,269.2 1.50 14.40 61,683 7.53E-05 2,126.4 1.07 7.16 Southern (96%), PowerSouth Coop (4%) ESP + SCR + Wet Scrubber 62,241 5.81E-05 2,125.7 0.76 5.98 ESP + Wet Scrubber 12,019 20,849 9.03E-05 2,139.5 2.01 3.49 Units 1,2: ESP + Fabric Filter; Unit 3: Energy Future Holdings 11,938 58,265 7.01E-05 2,322.0 1.57 7.68 ESP + Wet Scrubber Southern (29%), Oglethorpe (30%), MEAG Units 1,2: ESP + Fabric Filter; Units (15%), NextEra (19%), JEA (6%), Dalton 3,4: ESP + Fabric Filter + SCR + Wet 17,172 69,523 3.87E-05 2,112.7 1.49 6.05 Great River Energy ESP + Wet Scrubber 10,647 28,638 9.44E-05 2,256.6 2.33 6.27 19,762 54,796 4.55E-05 2,007.1 2.11 5.85 ESP + SCR + Wet Scrubber 26,265 4.45E-05 2,002.6 0.72 2.74 Unit 1: ESP + SCR; Unit 2: ESP; Units 20,374 85,898 4.44E-05 2,009.3 2.13 8.98 3,4: ESP + SCR + Wet Scrubber 2 units: ESP + Wet Scrubber; 1 unit: 42,502 4.69E-05 2,102.1 0.53 4.48 ESP + SCR + Wet Scrubber Energy Future Holdings ESP + SCR + Wet Scrubber 25,594 1.89E-04 2,345.1 2.29 11.91 Pointe Coupee NRG (86%), Entergy (14%) 11,434 35,893 6.63E-05 2,144.0 1.90 5.95 PSEG (23%), Exelon (21%), Constellation (21%), GenOn (17%), PPL (12%), Delmarva, Bituminous ESP + SCR + Wet Scrubber 3,718 113,137 7.56E-05 1,974.7 0.71 21.46 Duquesne, Keystone (2% each) AEP (86%), Northeast Texas Coop (12%), ESP + Wet Scrubber 2.30E-04 2,271.7 1.92 2.52 Alliant (46%), Integrys (32%), Madison Gas Unit 1: ESP; Unit 2: ESP 24,228 9.68E-05 2,193.2 1.47 7.48 Units 1,2: ESP + Wet Scrubber; Unit Xcel (85%), Southern MN MPA (15%) 13,874 24,016 4.08E-05 2,146.4 1.81 3.13 3: Fabric Filter + Dry Scrubber Minnkota Power Coop (68%), ALLETE Milton R Young ND ESP + Wet Scrubber 14,046 25,724 1.17E-04 2,258.2 5.60 10.25 Entergy (48%), AR Electric Coop (35%), 14,338 27,425 5.12E-05 2,122.1 2.52 4.82 Other Public Cities (17%) Unit 1: ESP; Unit 2: Fabric Filter + Omaha Public District 15,137 19,074 7.74E-05 2,036.8 4.08 5.15 SCR + Wet Scrubber PSEG (23%), Exelon (21%), Constellation (11%), GenOn (16%), PPL (16%), Others ESP + Wet Scrubber 4.69E-05 1,964.0 3.12 1.19 Puget Energy (33%), PPL (26%), Portland General (14%), MidAmerican (7%), Avista Sub-bituminous 17,516 15,919 4.26E-05 2,230.6 2.66 2.42 (10%), NorthWestern Energy (10%) Basin Electric Power Coop (42%), Tri-State (24%), Missouri Basin MPA (17%), Other ESP + Wet Scrubber 4.80E-05 2,107.8 2.83 1.59 Public Agencies (17%) Entergy (57%), AR Electric Coop (35%), 14,523 33,832 5.18E-05 2,102.8 2.69 6.26 Other Public Cities (8%) *Capacity Factors (Utilization Rates) and Heat Rates are averages (weighted for Coal) for the entire plant. Individual units may have different rates. State Regulations: Seventeen States Have Established Mercury Emission Limits on Coal Plants Year Enacted
Requires 75% reduction in annual mercury emissions from coal plants compared to 1996/97 emissions.
Requires coal-fired power plants to achieve either an emissions standard of 0.6 lb/tBtu or a 90% efficiency in technology installed to control mercury emissions.
Requires a 90% reduction of mercury emissions from coal-fired power plants by the end of 2007. Plants have the option of meeting the standards in 2012 if they also make major reductions in their emissions of sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxides, and fine particulates.
Requires power plants to capture at least 80% of mercury beginning in 2009 and 90% beginning in 2013.
Requires power plants to capture at least 80% of mercury beginning in 2010 and 90% beginning in 2013.
Requires power plants to reduce mercury emission by 90% starting in July of 2009.
Requires power plants submit by January 1, 2013 detailed plans and timetables for achieving maximum technically and economically possible mercury reductions at each unit. Units that are not controlled by 2017 must be shut down.
Requires mercury emitting EGUs to achieve an emission rate lower than 0.9 lbs/TBtu by January 1, 2010. EGUs unable to meet this limit after installing an approved control strategy may apply for an alternative limit by July 1, 2011.
Requires MN's largest coal-fired power plants to cut mercury emissions by 90% by 2015.
Requires requires power plants to capture at least 85% of mercury (or achieve a rate of 0.0075 lbs/GWh) by 2008 and 95% of mercury (or achieve a rate of 0.0025 lbs/GWh) by 2012.
Phase I (2010): Power plants must reduce mercury emissions by 50%. Phase II (2015): Implementation of unit- based limits for each facility to reduce mercury emissions by 90% using Maximum Available Control Technologies Requires new or reconstructed units to achieve a minimum mercury capture rate of 90% and implement BACT.
Multipollutant Control for EGUs (steam) requires four specific power plants to carry out feasibility studies for mercury controls by 2018. Mercury emissions from new EGUs requires the use of BACT to control mercury emissions.
Requires large (>150 MW) coal-fired power plants to either – a) achieve a 90 percent reduction in mercury emissions from coal by the year 2015; or b) reduce multiple pollutants, including nitrogen oxides (NOx) and sulfur dioxide (SO2), and achieve 90 percent reduction in mercury emissions six years laterRequires small (> 25 MW and < 150 MW) coal-fired power plants reduce their mercury emissions to BACT level.
Requires power plants to install mercury emission monitoring equipment by June 2009.
Requires EGUs to reduce mercury emissions by 90%, or achieve 75% mercury emission reductions along with nitrogen oxides (NOx) and sulfur dioxide (SO2) reductions.
Caps mercury emissions from new EGUs and requires installation of mercury controls at existing ones. Total statewide mercury emissions limited to 60 lbs/year after 2018. New coal plants cannot emit more than 25 lbs per year Adopted the standard of reducing mercury emissions by 66% by 2025.

Source: http://www.edfclimatecorps.net/sites/default/files/EDF-mercury-report-27mar2011-revised.pdf

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OS, and plasma lipids Role of raloxifene on platelet metabolism and plasma lipidsL. Nanetti, A. Camilletti, C. M. Francucci, A. Vignini, F. Raffaelli, L. Mazzanti and M. Boscaro Università Politecnica delle Marche, Ancona, Italy Background This study was performed to understand the metabolic effects of raloxifene, a selective oestrogen receptor modulator, on platelets in healthy non-obese postmenopausal women. The data were compared to untreated subjects.