States Sue EPA over Mercury

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

New York, New Jersey, Connecticut and eight other states have filed a lawsuit against the federal Environmental Protection Agency over mercury emissions from power plants.

The suit challenges a plan rule that would allow some powerplants to emit more mercury than others by buying pollution credits from cleaner plants.

New Jersey Attorney General Peter Harvey says while the arrangement may be appropriate for air pollutants, it is a bad way to regulate mercury because local deposits will accumulate and enter the food supply, creating "mercury hotspots."

Mercury can cause brain and nerve damage, particularly among children.

A spokesman for the EPA says the rule will reduce mercury emmissions by 70% nationwide. The agency promises to fight any challenges.

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