Mercury Air Issues
Mercury Air Issues
BACKGROUND INFORMATION: Mercury (symbol Hg) is a heavy, silvery-white metal sometimes called quicksilver. It is the only metal that is liquid at ordinary temperatures and is naturally found in rocks and other environmental media. While it has been historically released to the environment by natural events like volcanic eruptions and weathering of minerals, human and industrial activities, including those that use mercury directly or burn mercury bearing fossil fuels like coal, have increased the amount of mercury in the environment. Mercury is a persistent, bioaccumulative neurotoxin. Studies indicate an increased risk to a developing fetus upon exposure to methylmercury via maternal fish consumption. Mercury released from anthropogenic (man-made) and natural sources can be deposited in the environment, a portion of which is converted to methylmercury in aquatic systems before finding its way into fish.
On March 15, 2005, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency issued the Clean Air Mercury Rule (CAMR) to permanently cap and reduce mercury emissions from coal-fired power plants. However, the US District Court of Appeals vacated CAMR on February 8, 2008.
The MDEQ developed new air pollution control rules addressing mercury emissions from coal-fired electric generating units (EGUs), to meet the requirements of Governor Jennifer M. Granholm's directive to reduce mercury emission from coal-fired EGUs. The rules under Part 15 Emission Limitations and Prohibitions - Mercury, went into effect October 16, 2009. MDEQ also revised the Parts 10 and 11 rules to address necessary changes to the testing/sampling and monitoring prodicals.
On June 1, 2012, the Department approved a variance to the permitting requirments under Rule 1512.
Mercury Permit Rule 1512 Variance (pdf) Access to all approved rules: Michigan Air Pollution Control Rules
Reports and Other Information :
On January 30, 2008, a team of MDEQ staff from the air, water, pollution prevention and remediation programs, called the MDEQ Mercury Strategy Workgroup (MSWG), released their report entitled, MDEQ Mercury Strategy Staff Report along with its Appendices . The "MSWG Staff Report" was drafted in response to a charge from MDEQ Director Chester to develop a strategy that eliminates anthropogenic or human mercury use and release to Michigan's environment. This comprehensive mercury report includes 67 recommendations, along with the workgroup's 10 top priority actions identified. The desired outcome is to make Michigan's fish safe to eat and allow state-wide fish consumption advisories relating to mercury to be removed. Getting there involves working cooperatively with a multitude of stakeholders. A copy of the MSWG Strategy's Executive Summary which includes the 67 recommendations is also available.
On January 30, 2008, the MDEQ issued a press release requesting public input on identifying partnerships for involvement in implementing the recommendations listed in the MSWG Staff Report and which actions should receive priority attention. On August 1, 2008, comments received during the public comment period were incorporated as Appendix W into the MSWG Staff Report Appendices. MDEQ's response to comments received were added as an addendum (Chapter 12) to the MSWG Staff Report.
Additional information on the various MDEQ mercury programs, including links to the appropriate divisions can be found at www.michigan.gov/deq , and click on the " Mercury " icon located in the left navigation bar.
Third Compendium of States Mercury Activities Final Oct 2012
Mercury Air Emissions for 2005
Electric Utility Workgroup Final Report
MDEQ Comments EPA's Utility Hg Reductions Proposals, June, 2004
EPA's Utility Mercury Reductions Rule
Federal Register: January 30, 2004
Federal Register: March 16, 2004
Switch Removal - Appliances
Switch Removal - Auto
Recycled Materials Market Directory
EPA's Air Toxic Website
National Atmospheric Deposition Progrgam/ Mercury Deposition Network (NADP/MDN)
Mercury Study Report to Congress
Additional Mercury Information:
Identification of Atmospheric Mercury Sources in the Great Lakes
Mercury Monitoring Workshop March 2003
July 2005 Mercury Monitoring Activity Report
Great Lakes Protection Fund 1st Annual Report
Great Lakes Protection Fund 2nd Annual Report