Drive on to curb power plant emissions

By PATRICK LYONS
Capital News Service
LANSING– Coal-fired power plants in seven counties the state have been linked to hundreds of premature deaths in Michigan. And the Environmental Protection Agency has adopted tougher regulations intended to lessen the health risks of coal-fired power plants. A report from Environmental Health and Engineering Inc. in Needham, Mass., commissioned by the Michigan Environmental Council, linked 180 cases of premature death to emissions from the nine oldest coal-fired plants in the state. Emissions from those plants, built between 1949 and 1968, are also responsible for 660 premature deaths in surrounding states, according to the report. The report shows that in addition to causing deaths plants are damaging cardiovascular and respiratory health in Michigan and surrounding states, resulting in health care costs of $1.5 billion and $5.4 billion respectively.

Environmental Protection Agency proposes new regulations for coal-fired power plants

By Jenny Kalish
Lansing Star staff writer

       Following a 2010 study of air pollution, the Environmental Protection Agency will be taking new steps this December to reinforce national regulations for mercury and carbon dioxide emissions from coal-fired power plants. Anyone who has heard of global warming surely knows the dangers of high carbon dioxide emissions to our planet. But the health risks of airborne mercury are not as well understood. “When mercury gets in the atmosphere, it rains or snows, and brings it down into the watershed. Then it runs off into the streams, and from the streams into the rivers and back into the Great Lakes and into the fish,” said Dr. Frank D’Itri, a retired fisheries and wildlife professor at Michigan State University.