Moving on mercury.Byline: The Register-Guard
After proposing one of the weakest mercury-control plans in the nation, Oregon's Department of Environmental Quality has reversed course and developed a new, tougher strategy to control mercury from Portland General Electric's coal-fired power plant near Boardman.
The DEQ's willingness to make changes necessary to protect public health - and its responsiveness to warranted public criticism - provide a welcome reminder of how government agencies at all levels should conduct business. When you get it wrong, fix it - sooner rather than later.
While the DEQ's new proposal still needs additional changes, it remedies its predecessor's most glaring flaw by requiring 90 percent reduction in mercury emissions from the Boardman plant. The original proposed reduction was 60 percent.
Mercury is a particularly vile toxin, and emissions from power plants - coal is a major source of mercury - end up in rivers, oceans, fish and, ultimately, humans. Children are most vulnerable. Fetal childhood exposure to mercury can cause learning disabilities and other neurological neurological, neurologic
pertaining to or emanating from the nervous system or from neurology.
evaluation of the health status of a patient with a nervous system disorder or dysfunction. problems. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), independent agency of the U.S. government, with headquarters in Washington, D.C. It was established in 1970 to reduce and control air and water pollution, noise pollution, and radiation and to ensure the safe handling and has estimated that 16 percent of women of childbearing age have dangerously high levels of mercury.
The Boardman plant was authorized in 1975, just in time to avoid tough new pollution control requirements in the federal Clean Air Act. Since then, the plant's mercury emissions have been unmonitored and uncontrolled, and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has admitted that the plant should never have been exempted from clean air protections in the first place.
The plant also has been linked to acid rain and haze in the Columbia Gorge. A recent federal analysis found the coal-fired plant, one of only two in the West without modern pollution controls, is degrading air quality in more than 10 protected parks and wilderness areas, including Mount Hood, Mount Hood, Mount, peak, 11,235 ft (3,424 m) high, NW Oreg., in the Cascade Range, E of Portland; highest point in the state and the center of Mt. Hood National Forest. Rainier and Mount Jefferson Mount Jefferson is a common name for mountains in the United States, usually referring to Thomas Jefferson, the country's third president. The mountains include:
Name State County Coordinates USGS 7. .
The initial DEQ DEQ
Abbreviation for the Incoterm "Delivered Ex Quay." plan gave the PGE PGE Pacific Gas and Electric Company
PGE Portland General Electric
PGE Prostaglandin E
PGE Platinum Group Elements
PGE Pacific Great Eastern (Railroad)
PGE Phenyl Glycidyl Ether
PGE Perfect Girl Evolution plant until 2018 to install mercury controls that would reduce mercury emissions by at least 60 percent. The proposal also allowed the plant to continue releasing mercury as long as it offset the releases under a Bush administration program that allows utilities to purchase credits from cleaner coal plants elsewhere.
Environmental and public health organizations justifiably hammered DEQ officials for failing to follow the lead of other states adopting tighter controls on earlier deadlines and for including the market-based trading system The introduction to this article provides insufficient context for those unfamiliar with the subject matter.
Please help [ improve the introduction] to meet Wikipedia's layout standards. You can discuss the issue on the talk page. . The agency then reconsidered and crafted a new policy that appropriately gives public health concerns greater weight than the costs to PGE of controlling mercury.
But the agency still should eliminate the provisions allowing power plants to offset emissions by purchasing credits instead of installing controls. Such free-market approaches can be effective in reducing pollutants pollutants
see environmental pollution. such as carbon dioxide carbon dioxide, chemical compound, CO2, a colorless, odorless, tasteless gas that is about one and one-half times as dense as air under ordinary conditions of temperature and pressure. , which have a primarily global impact. But the effects of mercury pollution are often local, making a geographically broad trading program ineffective and putting people living near some dirty plants at risk from mercury fallout.
DEQ officials also should make one other change. The revised plan gives PGE until 2012 to install controls capturing 90 percent of the mercury emissions. Given the availability and affordability of mercury control technology, the agency should consider moving up the compliance deadline to a still-feasible 2009. The state could then offer a three-year extension on the deadline if PGE also commits to installing state-of-the-art controls for the nitrogen oxides and sulfur dioxide sulfur dioxide, chemical compound, SO2, a colorless gas with a pungent, suffocating odor. It is readily soluble in cold water, sparingly soluble in hot water, and soluble in alcohol, acetic acid, and sulfuric acid. that cause haze, smog, soot soot, black or dull brown deposit of fine powder resulting from incomplete combustion of fuel of high carbon content, e.g., coal, wood, and oil. It consists chiefly of amorphous carbon and tarry substances that cause it to adhere to surfaces. and acid rain.
The DEQ should make these additional changes and then submit the new plan to the state Environmental Quality Commission for final approval. When that happens, Oregon will have gone from being part of the nation's mercury problem to being a leader in protecting its citizens from this slippery poison.