Environment Massachusetts
Power Engineering Magazine
State News Service

The Patrick-Murray Administration today announced that toxic mercury air emissions in Massachusetts have fallen by 91 percent since 1996, greatly exceeding the original goal of 75 percent, according to a study released by the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP). The reductions have been accomplished in part by the Administration's comprehensive efforts targeting mercury pollution from municipal waste combustors, coal-fired power plants, mercury-added products and other sources. To continue the progress in this area, Massachusetts will need strong federal and international actions similar to what has been accomplished in the Northeast. In particular, a proposed federal rule by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency would be a major step forward, by greatly reducing mercury pollution from coal-fired power plants across the country. Massachusetts' state rule for coal-fired plants is already more stringent than the proposed federal mercury limits, but the federal rule, if implemented, would be an important step forward in reducing toxic mercury transported on the winds from Midwest and Southeast states and deposited from the air into Massachusetts.

"Massachusetts officials have helped ensure that powering our homes won't poison our kids," said Ben Wright, advocate for Environment Massachusetts. "But toxic mercury pollution doesn't respect state boundaries, which is why we need the Obama Administration to ensure that power plants in neighboring states are following our lead."