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.

Artist's impression of an Othalo community, imagined by architect Julien De Smedt. Othalo

By Victoria Masterson

Using one of the world's problems to solve another is the philosophy behind a Norwegian start-up's mission to develop affordable housing from 100% recycled plastic.

Read More Show Less

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

Pexels

By Brett Wilkins

Despite acknowledging that the move would lead to an increase in the 500 million to one billion birds that die each year in the United States due to human activity, the Trump administration on Friday published a proposed industry-friendly relaxation of a century-old treaty that protects more than 1,000 avian species.

Read More Show Less

Trending

U.S. returns create about 15 million metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions. manonallard / Getty Images

Many people shop online for everything from clothes to appliances. If they do not like the product, they simply return it. But there's an environmental cost to returns.

Read More Show Less
Climate Envoy John Kerry (L) and President-elect Joseph (R) are seen during Kerry's ceremonial swearing in as Secretary of State on February 6, 2013 in Washington, DC. Alex Wong / Getty Images

By Dolf Gielen and Morgan Bazilian

John Kerry helped bring the world into the Paris climate agreement and expanded America's reputation as a climate leader. That reputation is now in tatters, and President-elect Joe Biden is asking Kerry to rebuild it again – this time as U.S. climate envoy.

Read More Show Less
Scientific integrity is key for protecting the field against attacks. sanjeri / Getty Images

By Maria Caffrey

As we approach the holidays I, like most people, have been reflecting on everything 2020 has given us (or taken away) while starting to look ahead to 2021.

Read More Show Less