Environment Minnesota released their mercury report at the Capitol this week highlighting the incredible damage that coal-fired plants are causing to our environment.
Sherburne County Power Plant in Becker emits 867 pounds of mercury every year—the most in Minnesota—according to the new Environment Minnesota report, Dirty Energy’s Assault on our Health: Mercury. The report found that power plants in Minnesota emitted 1,664 pounds of mercury pollution in 2009. The report comes as the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is set to propose a standard by March to limit mercury and other toxic air pollution from power plants.
Incredibly, despite coal plants being the #1 source of mercury pollution in the environment ( 138,259 pounds released nationwide in 2009!) the legislature is pushing for a repeal of the law limiting the construction of new coal plants in Minnesota without carbon offsets.
Senator Ellen Anderson, representing District 66, has stood up against ending this limit on pollution from coal expansion, saying, “”More coal plants mean more mercury in our fish and more mercury threatening children’s health. Minnesota needs to keep moving forward to a clean energy future, not going backwards to more coal.”
The report comes as the EPA is set to propose a standard to limit mercury and other toxic air pollution from power plants in March, and finalize the standard by November. Sierra Club and Environment Minnesota are calling on the EPA to issue a strong standard that will significantly reduce these harmful pollutants from power plants, and specifically cut mercury pollution by more than 90%. But while the EPA is undertaking this rulemaking, Congress and industry lobbyists are working to prevent the EPA from doing its job, by threatening to introduce legislation to block this and other rules to limit dangerous air pollution.
“Mercury and other toxic pollution from coal is making us sick. Fortunately, the Environmental Protection Agency can enact and enforce safeguards to protect our health and hold corporate polluters accountable.” stated Jessica Tatro, Field Organizer for the Sierra Club’s Beyond Coal Campaign.
Take action today to help the Sierra Club stop Congress from gutting the EPA and make sure they protect our water and air! We are going to hand deliver a petition with a 100,000 signatures to get the attention of the White House – we’re at 57,000 signatures right now and need YOU to sign on!