Texas Clean Air Matters

Selected tag(s): toxics rule

Texans to Benefit Even More From New Toxics Rule

Today the Environmental Protection Agency announced a new Mercury and Air Toxics rule that will help clean up mercury pollution from our nation’s power plants. A new Environmental Defense Fund report shows that Texas citizens will especially benefit from this rule with seven of the nation’s top 25 mercury-emitting coal plants here in our state, and four of those among the top 10 (see map).

Seven of the Top 25 Mercury-Emitting U.S. Coal Plants in 2009 are in Texas (Four of which are in the Top 10) Source: Proprietary Analysis, EIA 860 2009, EIA 923 2009, Ventyx Velocity

Coal-fired power plants are the largest source of toxic mercury air emissions in the U.S. and Texas coal plants have lagged far behind other states in reducing emissions. Top Texas coal plant emissions in 2009 by pounds of mercury released include the following (among the nation’s top 25 emitters):

  • Martin Lake 1,566 lbs.
  • Big Brown 1,362 lbs.
  • Limestone 1,077 lbs.
  • Monticello 1,063 lbs.
  • W A Parish 845 lbs.
  • Sandow (No. 4) 809 lbs.
  • Pirkey 791 lbs.

Such figures should concern us all given the serious human health impacts. While we have yet to learn all of the implications from harmful exposures to mercury, we do know that some of these effects are most severe in infants and young children, and include brain damage, learning disabilities, behavioral disorders, and impaired vision and hearing. Read More »

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