Local Impacts of Mercury Emissions from the Three Pennsylvania Coal Fired Power Plants.

PDF Version Also Available for Download.

Description

The Clean Air Interstate Rule (CAIR) and the Clean Air Mercury Rule (CAMR) as proposed by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) when fully implemented will lead to reduction in mercury emissions from coal-fired power plants by 70 percent to fifteen tons per year by 2018. The EPA estimates that mercury deposition would be reduced 8 percent on average in the Eastern United States. The CAMR permits cap-and-trade approach that requires the nationwide emissions to meet the prescribed level, but do not require controls on each individual power plant. This has led to concerns that there may be hot-spots of ... continued below

Creation Information

Sullivan,T.; Adams,J.; Bender, M.; Bu, C.; Piccolo, N. & Campbell, C. February 1, 2008.

Context

This report is part of the collection entitled: Office of Scientific & Technical Information Technical Reports and was provided by UNT Libraries Government Documents Department to Digital Library, a digital repository hosted by the UNT Libraries. More information about this report can be viewed below.

Who

People and organizations associated with either the creation of this report or its content.

Provided By

UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Serving as both a federal and a state depository library, the UNT Libraries Government Documents Department maintains millions of items in a variety of formats. The department is a member of the FDLP Content Partnerships Program and an Affiliated Archive of the National Archives.

Contact Us

What

Descriptive information to help identify this report. Follow the links below to find similar items on the Digital Library.

Description

The Clean Air Interstate Rule (CAIR) and the Clean Air Mercury Rule (CAMR) as proposed by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) when fully implemented will lead to reduction in mercury emissions from coal-fired power plants by 70 percent to fifteen tons per year by 2018. The EPA estimates that mercury deposition would be reduced 8 percent on average in the Eastern United States. The CAMR permits cap-and-trade approach that requires the nationwide emissions to meet the prescribed level, but do not require controls on each individual power plant. This has led to concerns that there may be hot-spots of mercury contamination near power plants. Partially because of this concern, many states including Pennsylvania have implemented, or are considering, state regulations that are stricter on mercury emissions than those in the CAMR. This study examined the possibility that coal-fired power plants act as local sources leading to mercury 'hot spots'. Soil and oak leaf samples from around three large U.S. coal-fired power plants in Western Pennsylvania were collected and analyzed for evidence of 'hot spots'. These three plants (Conemaugh, Homer City, and Keystone) are separated by a total distance of approximately 30 miles. Each emits over 500 pounds of mercury per year which is well above average for mercury emissions from coal plants in the U.S. Soil and oak leaf sampling programs were performed around each power plant. Sampling rings one-mile apart were used with eight or nine locations on each ring. The prevailing winds in the region are from the west. For this reason, sampling was conducted out to 10 miles from the Conemaugh plant which is southeast of the others. The other plants were sampled to a distance of five miles. The objectives were to determine if local mercury hot spots exist, to determine if they could be attributed to deposition of coal-fired power plant emissions, and to determine if they correlated with wind patterns. The study found the following: (1) There was some correlation between the prevailing wind direction and measured soil and oak leaf concentrations. This correlation was not statistically significant, but higher soil concentrations were generally found in the east and southeast from the plants and lower soil concentrations were found west/southwest from the plants. The prevailing winds are to the east. The Conemaugh plant which was the most southeast of the three plants did have the highest average oak leaf and soil mercury concentrations. Based on emissions, the Keystone plant would be expected to see the highest concentrations as it emitted about 25% more mercury than the other two plants. (2) The results of this study did not turn up strong evidence for large areas (several square miles) of elevated mercury concentrations around the three coal-fired power plants that were tested. This does not mean that there is no effect, there was some evidence of increasing mercury content to the east and south of these plants, however, the trends were not statistically significant suggesting that if the effects exist, they are small.

Language

Item Type

Identifier

Unique identifying numbers for this report in the Digital Library or other systems.

  • Report No.: BNL--80047-2008-IR
  • Grant Number: DE-AC02-98CH10886
  • DOI: 10.2172/928056 | External Link
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 928056
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc896914

Collections

This report is part of the following collection of related materials.

Office of Scientific & Technical Information Technical Reports

What responsibilities do I have when using this report?

When

Dates and time periods associated with this report.

Creation Date

  • February 1, 2008

Added to The UNT Digital Library

  • Sept. 27, 2016, 1:39 a.m.

Description Last Updated

  • Nov. 1, 2016, 5:30 p.m.

Usage Statistics

When was this report last used?

Yesterday: 0
Past 30 days: 0
Total Uses: 1

Interact With This Report

Here are some suggestions for what to do next.

Start Reading

PDF Version Also Available for Download.

Citations, Rights, Re-Use

Sullivan,T.; Adams,J.; Bender, M.; Bu, C.; Piccolo, N. & Campbell, C. Local Impacts of Mercury Emissions from the Three Pennsylvania Coal Fired Power Plants., report, February 1, 2008; United States. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc896914/: accessed September 24, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.