Friday, December 9, 2011

Coal Fired Irony

In 2005, I became interested in addressing the issue of mercury contamination of ground water and soil.  This environmental pollution leads to methylmercury in fish, and this can be harmful to humans.
I wrote a lot about it then and since.  I believe I shared my Good Fish Bad Fish powerpoint with blog readers at some point.  As part of completing my "project," I attended an EPA meeting in the NC state capital, Raleigh. It was actually an open forum or hearing on rules for coal fired power plants.  Most of the mercury that is contaminating our environment is from this source.  There are other forms of energy that are clean or cleaner, AND there are ways to make coal fired power plants themselves cleaner.  I do not recall everything, but something about scrubbers -
There is also cap and trade policy and our clean air acts.
As you are aware,  legislation is often challenged and companies find work arounds. 
When I was actively engaged in my Master's program and the study of this issue, I emailed my senators and congressperson.  They replied with reasons why they were NOT going to push for the regulations to be enforced.
Imagine my "hhhmmph" moment when I recently heard on the radio that a few counties in NC were having meetings to determine how they would use their settlement money  from the Tennessee Valley Authority.  TVAs mercury emissions from coal fired power plants had led to local contamination.  
No more really need be said.
By the way, I also made a pamphlet those many years ago and I uploaded it to Google Docs in case you want to take a look.

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