Florida Is 6th Worst Toxic Polluter from Coal-Fired Power Plants Despite Natural Gas Gains

Published by FlaglerLive | August 9, 2012

Florida is the 6th worst state in the nation when it comes to exposing residents to toxic air pollution from coal-fired power plants, according to an analysis released today in Florida by the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC).

Florida’s electric sector ranked 6th in industrial toxic air pollution in 2010, emitting nearly 16.7 million pounds of harmful chemicals, which accounted for 57 percent of state pollution and about 5 percent of toxic pollution from all U.S. power plants.

Florida ranked 15th among all states in industrial mercury air pollution from power plants, with about 1,710 pounds emitted in 2010, which accounted for 75 percent of state mercury air pollution and 3 percent of U.S. electric sector mercury pollution. Mercury contaminates fish and is most commonly absorbed by humans through fish consumption. Mercury poisoning can impair vision, speech and coordination, and lead to severe birth defects or worse.

On the national level, the report found a 19 percent decrease nationally in all air toxics emitted from power plants in 2010, the most recent data available, compared to 2009 levels. The welcomed drop, which also includes a 4 percent decrease in mercury emissions, results from two key factors. One is the increasing use by power companies of natural gas, which has become cheaper and is cleaner burning than coal; the other is the installation of state-of-the-art pollution controls by many plants–in anticipation of new health protections issued by the Environmental Protection Agency.

Read the rest of the story at: http://flaglerlive.com/42571/florida-coal-fired-pollution/

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