Mercury from power plants

March 2011

Environmental Defense Fund

EDF identifies the top 25 emitters of mercury from the electric sector

Coal-fired power plants are the primary source of toxic mercury air emissions in the U.S. Mercury pollution contaminates our land and waters, causing serious human health impacts.

In Mercury Alert: Cleaning up Coal Plants for Healthier Lives [PDF] EDF identifies the top 25 emitters of mercury from the electric sector.

Key report findings

  • A large amount of toxic mercury pollution is released from a relatively small number of plants.
  • These 25 plants alone are responsible for nearly a third of all mercury emissions in the power sector, while providing only eight percent of our electricity.
  • Twenty of them are located within 50-100 miles of some of the largest metropolitan areas in the country, including Chicago, Dallas, Houston, Atlanta, Minneapolis, Detroit, Pittsburgh, Cleveland, St. Louis and Austin.
  • Texas led the nation in mercury air pollution from coal-fired power in 2009.

Some states are making progress to reduce mercury emissions from the electric sector, but we need a strong national Utility Air Toxics rule to protect the health of all Americans.

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