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US EPA: new limits to reduce toxic pollutants in US waterways

Published by
World Coal,

The US Environmental Protection Agency has finalised federal rules on reducing the discharge of toxic pollutants from steam electric power plants, including coal-fired power plants.

The EPA has indicated the will reduce polluting substances, including mercury, arsenic, lead and selenium, in US waterways by 1.4 million pounds/yr, as well as reducing water withdrawal by 57 billion gal./yr.

The final Steam Electric Effluent Limitation Guidelines are based on technologies that are available and used in the industry today, supporting the change to cleaner, more modern plants.

The standards will have a phased-in approach, allowing plant owners to pursue integrated strategies to meet these requirements. The regulations go into effect 60 days after they are printed in the Federal Register.

“Today, EPA is setting the first national limits to protect public health and reduce toxic pollutants, including mercury, arsenic, lead and selenium released into America’s waterways by steam electric power plants,” stated EPA Administrator, Gina McCarthy.

“These cost-effective, achievable limits will provide significant protections for our children and communities across the country, including minority and low-income communities, from exposure to pollutants that can cause neurological damage in children, cancer, and other serious health problems,” continued McCarthy.

Edited from press release by Harleigh Hobbs

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