Utility Midwest Generation Agrees to Cut Mercury Pollution From Coal-Fired Plantsadmin
The operator of six coal-fired power plants in northern and central Illinois has struck a deal with Gov. Rod Blagojevich’s administration calling for drastic cuts in mercury emissions.
Under the deal announced Monday, Midwest Generation officials also agreed to reduce smog and soot at its plants in Chicago, Waukegan, and outside of Romeoville, Joliet and Peoria.
The deal gives Midwest Generation extra time — until 2018 for sulfur dioxide emissions — to meet the state’s standards. Mercury emissions will be controlled by 2009 and nitrogen oxide by 2012.
Mercury seeps into rivers and lakes through rain and snow, then accumulates in fish. Consumption by humans, especially women of childbearing age, pregnant women and young children, can cause nervous system disorders. Sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxide contribute to smog and soot.
St. Louis-based Ameren and Houston-based Dynegy had already reached agreements with the state. A panel of state lawmakers is set to vote on the Blagojevich’s proposed mercury emission rules Tuesday.
Midwest Generation is a subsidiary of Edison Mission Group of Irvine, Calif., which manages the competitive power generation businesses of Rosemead, Calif.-based Edison International.