Power Plants to Be Ordered to Reduce Mercury Output - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Reported by Talitha Vickers

Power Plants to Be Ordered to Reduce Mercury Output

Shown is the Indian River Power Plant near Millsboro, Del. Shown is the Indian River Power Plant near Millsboro, Del.

UNDATED- Coal-fired power plants nationwide will soon be ordered to clean up emissions in an effort to reduce the amount of mercury that gets into our air and water.

Two Delmarva power plants affected by the Clean Air Mercury Rule include those in Millsboro, Del. and Vienna, Md., which will be required to reduce their mercury outputs by 2010.

Power plant manager Caroline Angoorly said the race is on to figure out how to do that.

"The actual technology to address mercury emissions is not yet fully commercially developed, and so we, like other power plant operators, are carefully reviewing what technology developments occur to pick the right solution for our assets," she said.

The aim of of the new regulations is to protect our food supply. The Environmental Protection Agency says mercury released into the air from burning coal ends up in waterways, and ultimately in the flesh of fish in the form of methyl-mercury, which are then caught and eaten.

Years of eating methyl-mercury infested fish can be harmful to pregnant women, women of child-bearing age, and children. 

Fisherman Jason Massey welcomes the new regulations as a way to restore the public's confidence in the fish he catches and sells. He said the thought of mercury-contaminated fish, "discourages some people from eating the fish that they do catch and that in fact brings problems down here.

"People are not going to buy as much bait and tackle to go out and eat a bunch of fish that have a mercury in them," Massey said.  

As for seafood restaurants who depend on sales from customers, Dana Smith, manager of Irish Eyes restaurant in Lewes said, "[Mercury] is a concern, but we do the best we can to ensure that we have the highest quality of seafood here."

You can already find out about health advisories having to do with fish like swordfish, shark and king mackerel by logging onto the Environmental Protection Agency's or the Food and Drug Administrations's Web sites. 

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