Chicago utility to cut emissions, possibly plants

on

Three of Chicago’s largest sources of air pollution will shut down or become dramatically cleaner with the decision by a major utility to cut smog, soot and mercury pollution from its six coal-fired power plants.

Various media outlets are saying the decision, by Midwest Generation, followed months of negotiation with city officials. The company said three aging plants in Waukegan and Chicago’s Pilsen and Little Village areas might close if they decide it isn’t worth spending millions to clean them up. In exchange, Midwest was given more time to meet standards.

Mercury emissions will be controlled by 2009, nitrogen Oxide by 2012 and sulfur dioxide by 2018. The cuts will be faster and deeper than U.S. rules require, according to the Chicago Tribune.

Cleaning up Midwest‘s dirty smokestacks is critical for the Chicago area. Sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxide churning from the coal plants contribute to smog and soot that hangs over the city and its suburbs, especially during the summer.

The company also is the state’s largest source of mercury, which falls into lakes and streams and becomes more dangerous as it moves up the food chain. It was responsible for 1,533 of the 5,609 pounds of mercury released into the air in Illinois during 2004, the last year for which figures are available.

Related Posts

Opinion
on

Anti-science rhetoric and special interests have pushed us to the edge of climate chaos. But just as quantum physics disrupted our view of matter and energy, quantum social change disrupts our beliefs about what’s possible, how fast, and by whom.

Anti-science rhetoric and special interests have pushed us to the edge of climate chaos. But just as quantum physics disrupted our view of matter and energy, quantum social change disrupts our beliefs about what’s possible, how fast, and by whom.
on

Climate campaigners concerned over Jane Toogood’s role in a company that sells technology to produce hydrogen from methane.

Climate campaigners concerned over Jane Toogood’s role in a company that sells technology to produce hydrogen from methane.
on

The Vermont senator nevertheless supported final passage of the Inflation Reduction Act, calling it "a step forward" on climate and drug prices.

The Vermont senator nevertheless supported final passage of the Inflation Reduction Act, calling it "a step forward" on climate and drug prices.
on

Campaigners say action on climate change is in jeopardy if MPs such as climate science denier John Redwood are granted key posts.

Campaigners say action on climate change is in jeopardy if MPs such as climate science denier John Redwood are granted key posts.