22 States Write Mercury Controls Stricter than Fed’s
Twenty states have adopted or are pursuing their own plans to address mercury emissions from coal-fired power plants because they are dissatisfied with the federal Clean Air Mercury Rule, adopted by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in March 2005.
These state plans are calling for such provisions as stronger emission limits, shorter deadlines, and limitations on trading in mercury emission–measures to address deficiencies that states have identified in the federal rule. .
According to the National Association of Clean Air Agencies (NACAA), state and local agencies have concluded that the federal mercury rule is not up to the task of addressing public health and environmental dangers posed by power plant mercury emissions, and they are determined to enact programs that will provide an adequate measure of protection to the citizens they serve.
Nearly half the states in the nation have moved to adopt programs that will yield greater mercury reductions on a faster schedule. Many states have relied upon a model rule that NACAA developed in November 2005 to guide them.
Twenty-two states have adopted or are pursuing programs more stringent than the federal rule, 24 state programs are largely consistent with the federal model, and the remaining states are uncertain or are not required to participate.
Among the more stringent state programs, 15 states call for greater reductions–most in the 80 to 90 percent range, as compared to 70 percent under the federal rule; 18 will require the reductions to be obtained years sooner; and 17 will prohibit or restrict trading of emissions, which is allowed by the federal rule.
States that have adopted or are pursuing more stringent programs are: Arizona, California, Connecticut, Delaware, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Montana, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Washington, and Wisconsin.
NACAA is the national association of air pollution control agencies in 54 states and territories and over 165 metropolitan areas across the country. Until recently the association was known as the State and Territorial Air Pollution Program Administrators (STAPPA) and the Association of Local Air Pollution Control Officials (ALAPCO).