Mercury Emissions from Electric Power Plants: States Are Setting Stricter Limits [July 11, 2006] [open pdf - 76KB]
From the Summary: "In March 2005, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) promulgated the first national emission standards for mercury emissions from electric power plants. EPA studies conclude that about 6% of American women of child-bearing age have blood mercury levels sufficient to increase the risk of adverse health effects (especially lower IQs) in children they might bear. Power plants account for 42% of total U.S. mercury emissions, according to EPA. Thus, there has been great interest in the agency's power plant regulations. The regulations established a cap-and-trade program to address power plant emissions, but the program would have little impact on emissions before 2018. At that time, the regulations call for 69% reduction in emissions as compared to the 1999 level. […] This report reviews the state standards for mercury emissions from power plants and discusses issues raised by the promulgation of such standards. Among these are whether states can prevent the sale of credits generated by compliance with state regulations in EPA's national credit trading program, and the potential impact of state programs on court challenges to EPA's national regulations. The report will be updated periodically."
CRS Report for Congress, RL33535