by Nadia Pflaum
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.
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.
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.