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EPA Seeks Additional Comments on Mercury Rule

Release Date: 10/21/2005
Contact Information:

Contact: Eryn Witcher, 202-564-4355 /

(Washington, D.C.-Oct. 21, 2005) EPA is granting requests for additional comment on the first-ever rule to regulate mercury emissions from power plants. Finalized in March, 2005, these rules will result in approximately 70 percent reductions in mercury emissions from coal-fired power plants when fully implemented.

These rules, combined with the Clean Air Interstate Rule, will lead to significant benefits for our environment, improve public health and promote development of new technologies. Today's action responds to petitioners' requests for additional comment on certain aspects of EPA's 112 Revision rule and the cap and trade Clean Air Mercury Rule.

EPA is granting the public additional time for comment on portions of its 112 Revision rule, the methods EPA used to assess the amount of utility-attributable mercury levels in fish tissue and the public health implications of those levels, and the legal issues underlying the decision. The agency will also take comment on certain aspects of the Clean Air Mercury Rule, the cap-and-trade approach that EPA will use to reduce mercury emissions from coal-fired power plants.

The Clean Air Mercury Rule creates a market-based cap-and-trade program that will permanently cap utility mercury emissions in two phases. The first phase of the rule will reduce emissions to 31 tons beginning in 2010. Emissions will continue to decline, reaching a second phase cap of 15 tons when the program is fully implemented. These mandatory declining caps, coupled with significant penalties for noncompliance, will ensure that mercury reduction requirements are achieved and sustained.

EPA will take comment on the notices for 45 days after the notices are published in the Federal Register and will hold a public hearing two weeks after publication. For more information on this action, visit:

A public hearing will be held from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Nov. 17 at EPA's offices in Research Triangle Park.