Issue Date: May 21, 2007
Senate mulls bills on power plant mercury
A Senate panel is considering legislation to reduce mercury emissions from coal-fired power plants faster than the Bush Administration's 2005 strategy for doing so. Last week, officials from Illinois and New Jersey, two of more than 25 states that are cutting power plant mercury emissions more swiftly and deeply than EPA requires, discussed their strategies before the Senate Environment & Public Works Subcommittee on Clean Air & Nuclear Safety. EPA's rule, which is snarled in a court challenge, will compel power plants to lower their current mercury emissions of 48 tons per year by 21% in 2010 and by 69% sometime after 2018. The subcommittee is considering three similar bills (S. 1168, 1172, and 1201) that would mandate slashing power plant mercury emissions by 90% no later than 2015. In addition, the panel is considering legislation (S. 843) to establish monitoring sites across the U.S. to track mercury emissions.
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