21 December 2011 19:41 [Source: ICIS news]
HOUSTON (ICIS)--The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued on Wednesday new standards limiting the emissions of mercury and toxic air pollution from power plants.
The Mercury and Air Toxics Standards requires power plants and other generating units to install emission control technologies that will reduce mercury emissions by about 90%; acid gases by 88%; and sulphur dioxide by 41%.
The rules would become effective in April, 2012.
Plants will have three years to comply with the standards, with a fourth year available for “technology installations, and if still more time is needed, providing a well-defined pathway to address any localised reliability problems should they arise,” the EPA said.
“The standards will slash emissions of these dangerous pollutants by relying on widely available, proven pollution controls that are already in use at more than half of the nation’s coal-fired power plants,” the agency added.
The EPA estimates the new rules will help prevent up to 11,000 deaths and 4,700 heart attacks/year.
“The standards will also help America’s children grow up healthier – preventing 130,000 cases of childhood asthma symptoms and about 6,300 fewer cases of acute bronchitis among children each year,” the EPA said.
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