Quantcast
Environmental News for a Healthier Planet and Life

The Toxic Air Burden from Industrial Power Plants Near You

Energy
The Toxic Air Burden from Industrial Power Plants Near You

Earthjustice

Earthjustice released a white paper and interactive map on Feb. 23 showing the locations and reported baseline emissions from 1,753 industrial power plants across the U.S. Industrial power plants are in‐house power plants that burn conventional fuels like coal, biomass and oil. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is currently under court order to step in and protect public health from these sources of toxic air pollution.

“Many people don’t know that major industrial operations often have their own personal power plants, which have not been subject to EPA clean air standards,” said Earthjustice staff attorney Jim Pew. “People who live near industrial power plants pay a disproportionate cost in increased cancer risk, heart attacks, asthma and other respiratory illness. Americans have the right to know where these plants are located and the pollutants they emit. Now they can get this information easily online.”

Though they are usually smaller than power plants that sell electricity to the public, industrial power plants released millions of pounds of toxic air pollutants like mercury, lead, benzene and acid gases in 2010 alone. Earthjustice has worked for more than a decade to reduce health threats from pollution caused by industrial power plants—also known as industrial boilers.

In February 2011, under a court-ordered deadline, the EPA issued Clean Air Act emission standards for industrial power plants. In December 2011, EPA issue a revised proposal and plans to finalize an updated standard by mid-2012. These standards (often referred to as the "Boiler MACT" rule) will bring IPPs into Clean Air Act compliance like any other power plant, saving thousands of lives each year and preventing widespread sickness, suffering and premature death, especially in communities that need the help most.

The white paper, The Toxic Air Burden from Industrial Power Plants, includes:

  • Health impacts of selected pollutants
  • Top 20 states for boiler emissions of mercury, lead, chromium, hydrochloric acid, PM2.5 (soot)
  • Top 20 facilities for these pollutants
  • Ranking of states with the most industrial boilers
  • An explanation of the research methods

The interactive map shows where these facilities are located from coast-to-coast.

Read the white paper and use the interactive map by clicking here.

For more information, click here.

Ningaloo Reef near Exmouth on April 2, 2012 in Western Australia. James D. Morgan / Getty Images News

By Dana M Bergstrom, Euan Ritchie, Lesley Hughes and Michael Depledge

In 1992, 1,700 scientists warned that human beings and the natural world were "on a collision course." Seventeen years later, scientists described planetary boundaries within which humans and other life could have a "safe space to operate." These are environmental thresholds, such as the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere and changes in land use.

Read More Show Less

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

A 3-hour special film by EarthxTV calls for protection of the Amazon and its indigenous populations. EarthxTV.org

To save the planet, we must save the Amazon rainforest. To save the rainforest, we must save its indigenous peoples. And to do that, we must demarcate their land.

Read More Show Less

Trending

UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres delivers a video speech at the high-level meeting of the 46th session of the United Nations Human Rights Council UNHRC in Geneva, Switzerland on Feb. 22, 2021. Xinhua / Zhang Cheng via Getty Images

By Anke Rasper

"Today's interim report from the UNFCCC is a red alert for our planet," said UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres.

The report, released Friday, looks at the national climate efforts of 75 states that have already submitted their updated "nationally determined contributions," or NDCs. The countries included in the report are responsible for about 30% of the world's global greenhouse gas emissions.

Read More Show Less
New Delhi's smog is particularly thick, increasing the risk of vehicle accidents. SAJJAD HUSSAIN / AFP via Getty Images

India's New Delhi has been called the "world air pollution capital" for its high concentrations of particulate matter that make it harder for its residents to breathe and see. But one thing has puzzled scientists, according to The Guardian. Why does New Delhi see more blinding smogs than other polluted Asian cities, such as Beijing?

Read More Show Less
A bridge over the Delaware river connects New Hope, Pennsylvania with Lambertville, New Jersey. Richard T. Nowitz / Getty Images

In a historic move, the Delaware River Basin Commission (DRBC) voted Thursday to ban hydraulic fracking in the region. The ban was supported by all four basin states — New Jersey, Delaware, Pennsylvania and New York — putting a permanent end to hydraulic fracking for natural gas along the 13,539-square-mile basin, The Philadelphia Inquirer reported.

Read More Show Less