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Mercury Planning in Georgia. Daniel Cohan Georgia Air Quality & Climate Summit May 4, 2006. Schematic of Hg Power plant->water->fish. Mercury Emissions: Global. Data from Seigneur et al., ES&T 2004. Mercury Emissions: U.S.

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Mercury planning in georgia

Mercury Planningin Georgia

Daniel Cohan

Georgia Air Quality & Climate Summit

May 4, 2006

Mercury planning in georgia

Schematic of Hg Power plant->water->fish

Mercury planning in georgia

Mercury Emissions: Global

Data from Seigneur et al., ES&T 2004

Mercury planning in georgia

Mercury Emissions: U.S.

Coal power plants are largest emitting sector, after stringent control of incinerators & combustors

Chart from U.S. EPA

Mercury planning in georgia

Emissions of Ionic Mercury

Map from Dr. Mark Cohen (NOAA); Data from US EPA (1999) and Environment Canada (2000)

Mercury planning in georgia

Mercury Wet Deposition (2003)

Source: US EPA Mercury Deposition Network

Mercury planning in georgia

Mercury Health Impacts

  • Each year, U.S. power plant mercury causes an estimated:

    • $1.3 billion lost earnings potential from incremental IQ losses1

      • 316,588 – 637,233 U.S. births/year with IQ losses from mercury exposure overall1

    • 231 excess cases of mental retardation at birth2

    • Up to $4.9 billion in cardiovascular effects3

    • Other unquantified impacts to humans: genotoxic, immunotoxic, reproductive, renal and hematological4

    • Impacts to birds, mammals, fishing and recreation

1Trasande, L et al. (2005). “Public health and economic consequences of methyl mercury toxicity to the developing brain.” Environmental Health Perspectives 113, 590-596.

2Trasande, L. et al. (2006). “Mental retardation and prenatal methylmercury toxicity.” American Journal of Industrial Medicine 49, 153-158.

3Harvard Center for Risk Analysis (2005). “Economic valuation of human health benefits of controlling mercury emissions from U.S. coal-fired power plants.”

4National Research Council (2000). “Toxicological effects of methylmercury.” National Academy Press, 368 pp.

Clean air mercury rule overview
Clean Air Mercury Rule Overview

  • December 2000: EPA issues finding that coal power plants should be subject to maximum achievable control technology for mercury

    • Similar to regulation of other major emitters of hazardous air pollutants under the Clean Air Act

  • March 2005: EPA reverses finding, issues Clean Air Mercury Rule

    • National cap-and-trade market for mercury

    • Each state assigned mercury emissions budget

      • May join national cap-and-trade program

        • Options for how to allocate allowances

      • May achieve budget by alternate in-state approach

Mercury planning in georgia

U.S. Power Plant Mercury Emissions

under CAIR and CAMR

Projected with no further regulation

Projected with CAIR

Projected with CAMR

CAMR Budget

Note: 1999 emission estimate for utility coal boilers is based on 1999 Information Collection Request (ICR); 1990 and 1996 are based on different methodology.

Adapted from U.S. EPA graph

Mercury planning in georgia

Mercury Planning in Georgia

  • Review available information:

    • Health & environmental impacts

    • Emissions, fate & transport

    • Control technologies

    • Interaction with CAIR and attainment planning

  • Stakeholder process:

    • Meetings and working sessions

    • Written comments

  • Drafting of rule options

  • Adoption of rule and submission for EPA approval

Mercury planning in georgia

Channel Catfish

Spotted Sucker

Redbreast Sunfish

Black Crappie

Spotted Seatrout

Fish Species With Restricted Consumption Recommendations In 2006 Due To Mercury(Total Number of Locations Sampled: 227)

Largemouth Bass

CATFISH SPECIES - 35 Restrictions

BASS SPECIES - 117 Restrictions


SUCKER SPECIES - 31 Restrictions

Redfin Pickerel



Mercury planning in georgia

Preliminary Georgia EPD Modeling of Georgia EGU Mercury Deposition

Images from Maudood Khan

Mercury planning in georgia

Multi-pollutant Approach

  • Series of controls targeting precursors of ozone & particulate matter:

  • SCR for nitrogen oxides

  • ESP or baghouse for particles

  • Scrubber for sulfur dioxide

  • Together, remove 85-95% mercury1

1US EPA Office of Research & Development, “Control of Mercury Emissions from Coal Fired Electric Utility Boilers: An Update,” Feb. 2005

Figures: U.S. EPA

Mercury planning in georgia

Mercury-specific Control

  • Inject sorbent such as activated carbon to remove mercury

  • Alternate configurations and sorbents may be needed depending on facility and coal characteristics, or to preserve fly ash value

  • Costs: <0.1 up to 0.2 cents/kWh1

  • Installation time with existing ESP: 6 months – 1 year1

Figures: U.S. DOE

1US EPA Office of Research & Development, “Control of Mercury Emissions from Coal Fired Electric Utility Boilers: An Update,” Feb. 2005

Mercury planning in georgia

Georgia Mercury Emissions Scenarios


“On-the-Way” Projections

CAMR Budgets

Potential Caps

NOTE: Future scenarios scaled from 2004 TRI emissions, assuming 29% capture (except 3% at Scherer sub-bituminous) in base year. “On-the-way” assumes 90% capture by SCR+FGD (error bars show 80%).

Mercury planning in georgia

Georgia Mercury Rule Options

  • February 2006: Georgia EPD issued mercury rule options for stakeholder comment

    • Option 1: In-state mercury limits

      • 80-85% statewide average capture efficiency by 2010

      • 90% beginning sometime between 2012-2015

      • Possible provisions for compliance flexibility

    • Option 2: Adopt federal CAMR cap-and-trade

  • March-April 2006: Three stakeholder meetings discuss above options as well as alternative approaches

  • Upcoming: Development of proposed rule for DNR Board adoption and EPA approval