Utilities, environmentalists dispute timing of mercury standards

Capital News Service
LANSING – Environmental protection advocates are urging legislators to support the federal mercury and air toxic standards in the Clean Air Act, but the electric utility industry say, that would create a huge burden. The standards proposed by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) would require coal-and oil-fired electric power plants to reduce mercury and other emissions by more than 90 percent. Congressional opponents of the proposal say the standards are too costly and would force the premature closing of power plants, eliminate hundreds of jobs and threaten the supply of electricity. Hugh McDiarmid Jr, communications director of the Michigan Environmental Council, said mercury is dangerous. “Michigan’s Great Lakes are polluted with mercury.