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4:10 pm
Mon October 19, 2009

Michigan limits mercury from coal-fired plants

LANSING, MI – A new Michigan state regulation requires coal-fired power plants
to reduce mercury emissions 90% by 2015.

The Michigan Department of Environmental Quality announced the rule Monday. Michigan is the 19th state to limit mercury from coal-burning electricity generators.

Agency Director Steven Chester said it worked closely with utilities, environmental groups and others while developing the regulation. Existing plants can choose from among three options for cutting their emissions, while new plants must use the best
available technology.

Mercury is a powerful neurotoxin and is particularly dangerous for children and women of childbearing age.

Coal-fired power plants are the nation's primary source of mercury air emissions. Mercury can settle in waterways, undergo a chemical reaction and be passed up the food chain to fish, including species that people eat.