Judge tosses mercury limits

    State may continue to try to get stricter emissions rule.
    (Photo: Matthew D. Wilson)

    A Pennsylvania judge shot down the state’s effort to reduce mercury emissions from coal-fired power plants. But the environmental department says the fight isn’t over. From WHYY’s health and science desk, Kerry Grens reports. (Photo: Matthew D. Wilson)

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    Pennsylvania’s emissions rule would reduce mercury pollution 90 percent by 2015.

    Currently, the federal government does not have a reduction plan in place, but the judge ruled that the state could not pre-empt the EPA.

    Energy company PPL filed the lawsuit.

    George Lewis, PPL’s spokesperson, says the company has already spent more than a billion dollars on reducing mercury emissions.

    Lewis: Allowing Pennsylvania to implement its rule would have required PPL to spend millions of additional dollars on mercury control technology that may not have been acceptable under new EPA regulations that are forthcoming.

    Lewis says if those new federal rules require the company to take action similar to the Pennsylvania rule, the company would comply.

    DEP spokesperson Teresa Candori says the agency is disappointed by the judge’s ruling.

    Candori: Currently we are reviewing our legal options.

    Candori says the Department will decide in the next few days whether to appeal the decision.

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