Missouri is 11th worst for mercury pollution from power plants


Worst. Plant. Ever. (In Missouri.)
  • Worst. Plant. Ever. (In Missouri.)

According to a new report released by Environment Missouri, Missouri ranks 11th for most emissions of mercury from coal-fired power plants.

Researchers studied the EPA's most recent Toxics Release Inventory, which quantifies the amount of mercury belched by power plants in the state, and the numbers don't lie: Missouri emitted 3,957 pounds of the poison in 2009.

Of the18 coal-burning power plants in Missouri, Ameren UE's Labadie Power Plant is the worst. It

emitted 1,297 pounds of mercury in 2009, making it the 15th most noxious

of all 451 U.S. power plants analyzed by the EPA.

Do not eat (or taunt).
  • Do not eat (or taunt).
This is the kind of data that has caused state agencies to discourage folks from eating fish caught in more than 30 of the states' rivers,

lakes and streams. Big fish that eat little fish in mercury-contaminated waterways can suffer from reproductive failure; people who eat mercury-spiked fish can be at risk for myriad disabilities and illnesses.

Nineteen states have enacted statewide mercury limits for power plants, but Missouri, not so much. Our state statutes prohibit the enforcing of limits stronger than what already exist on the federal level.

The EPA is supposed to roll out new rules for mercury toxicity. Given the current political climate, we won't hold our breath ... except, of course, when we're in the vicinity of the Labadie Power Plant.

Add a comment