By Dan Klepal
Enquirer staff writer
A new study by the National Wildlife Federation claims that reducing mercury emissions from Ohio's 22 coal-fired power plants by 90 percent would cost each household in the state about $2.14 a month.
Greater Cincinnati has four coal-fired power plants. Commercial businesses would pay on the order of $14 more every month, according to the report, "Getting the Job Done," released Tuesday.
Ohio's coal-fired power plants emitted more than 8,000 pounds of mercury in 2000 - the most of any Great Lakes state, according to Environmental Protection Agency statistics.
Mercury and other elements were trapped in coal seams when they were formed eons ago and is virtually impossible to separate before combustion.
"We have yet another piece of evidence showing that reducing mercury emissions is a challenge American industry can meet today," said Zoe Lipman, program manager for the National Wildlife Federation. "The technology is available and the cost is reasonable."
The study said the annual cost of controlling mercury emissions in Ohio would be about $287 million a year.
Cinergy spokesman Steve Brash said he doesn't think the study's findings are accurate. One problem, he said, is that it looks at the cost of reducing only mercury in the environment, when Cinergy and other power companies have a multitude of pollutants to consider. Cinergy last month released its long-range plan to spend $1.8 billion over the next four years to come into compliance with new federal rules aimed at reducing the amount of mercury, sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxide from its smokestacks.
Brash said the energy giant has not studied how much it would cost to reduce its mercury emissions by 90 percent.
"We don't have an estimate, but if we're looking at spending in the neighborhood of $2 billion over four years, that will translate into more than a couple of dollars on an average bill," Brash said.
Ohio Poll shows race tightening once again
Thousands of new-voter cards in Ohio undeliverable
Cheney too busy chatting to try Cincinnati chili
'The Hug' becomes a TV ad for Bush
Complaint to be filed on Issue 3 signs
Bunning fails to show up for his debate vs. Mongiardo
Mongiardo campaign gets cash infusion
Fletcher stumps to boost Hayden
State vigilant on vote fraud
Teachers call off walkout
Deluge for a day: Only 11 have been wetter here
Mason senior wrestler dies in two-vehicle wreck on I-75
ABC-TV anchor turns camera on Cincinnati
IN THE TRISTATE
Black journalists' group honors veterans and students
Mother, son killed in crash of van, semi
People line up for flu shots
Former judge sentenced to 10 days on sex charge
Dad captured in Ohio after Amber alert
At moment of capture, robber showed pride
Local news briefs
Wildlife group: Cut mercury emissions
Neighbors news briefs
Gunman killed in standoff with cops
Bengals QB wins hearts of pupils
Public safety briefs
Soldier brings Iraq war back home
He remembers the 'ups' and forgets the 'downs'
Higher Ed on way to Warren
Message to senator: Road help needed
St. William lab dedicated today
Emma H. Kohl, 93, aviation pioneer
Dodgeball grows up
Lawmakers pass Ky. health plan
Government finally has a home of its own
Ruling rejects UK police report policy
N. Ky. news briefs
Runaway used tires land in Boone creek
Bellevue condos to merit name