EPA Plans Mercury Emissions Monitoring
The Environmental Protection Agency has announced plans to require mercury emissions monitoring at coal-fired utility plants in an attempt to gather data. Industry leaders are questioning EPA`s authority to require the monitoring, which will include sampling and testing. EPA estimates the coal sampling requirements will cost each of the nation`s more than 400 coal plants about $23,000. Data gathered would be used to determine whether mercury emissions from power plants should be regulated as air toxics in the Clean Air Act. All plants of 25 MW or higher capacity would be required to conduct the monitoring for a year.
EPA also plans to randomly select 30 plants to conduct stack tests quarterly to determine the quantity and species of mercury emitted. EPA estimates the cost of these tests at $167,000 per plant. At press time, the proposal was still in a 60-day comment period. p