Great Lakes Environmental Directory Great Lakes Great Lakes environment Great Lakes grants exotic species water pollution water export drilling environment Great Lakes pollution Superior Michigan Huron Erie Ontario ecology Great Lakes issues wetlands Great Lakes wetlands Great Lakes Great Lakes environment Great Lakes watershed water quality exotic species Great Lakes grants water pollution water export oil gas drilling environment environmental Great Lakes pollution Lake Superior Lake Michigan Lake Huron Lake Erie Lake Ontario Great Lakes ecology Great Lakes issues Great Lakes wetlands Great Lakes Resources Great Lakes activist Great Lakes environmental organizations Great Lakes Aquatic Habitat air pollution alien species threatened rare endangered species ecological Great Lakes information Success Stories Great Lakes Directory Home/News Great Lakes Calendar Great Lakes jobs/volunteering Search Great Lakes Organizations Take Action! Contact Us Resources/Links Great Lakes Issues Great Lakes News Article About Us Networking Services

Great Lakes Article:

Chlorine makers' mercury output criticized
By Tom Henry
Toledo Blade
Published January 27th, 2005

Chlorine manufacturers that still use a 19th-century technology have been largely overlooked in the national debate over whether the Bush administration has become aggressive enough in combating mercury emissions, an international group said yesterday.
Oceana, a group formed three years ago to track worldwide efforts to protect the seas, said chlorine plants that don't use a more modern mercury-free technology spew twice the mercury of some coal-fired power plants and should share some blame for fish consumption advisories in the Great Lakes as well as advisories against eating too much tuna from oceans.

There are far more power plants, though. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency estimates that power plants are responsible for about two-thirds of America's airborne mercury, a dangerous toxin that can cause problems with brain and nervous-system development among children.

While Oceana agrees the primary focus should be on power plants, it said chlorine makers should not be given a free pass if they have not converted to a mercury-free technology.

Ninety percent of the chlorine made in the United States is manufactured with the cleaner process. The other 10 percent is made by nine manufacturers that haven't embraced it, including Ashta Chemicals Inc. of Ashtabula, Ohio, the group said. Ashta is Ohio's single-largest source of mercury emissions and the nation's fifth-largest mercury emitter. Ohio, which has more coal-fired power plants than most states, is second only to Texas in mercury emissions, U.S. EPA records show.

An Ashta spokesman was not available yesterday. But Zoe Lipman of the National Wildlife Federation, a group often critical of state and federal regulators, praised the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency for negotiating improvements at Ashta. In September, the agency announced a $1.54 million settlement that will prevent the release of 1,320 pounds of mercury annually from Ashta.

Although not mercury-free technology, the improvements will be "an important step forward," Ms. Lipman said.

Also yesterday, several groups claimed 12 of Ohio's 21 largest power plants increased annual emissions of sulfur dioxide between 1995 and 2004 and eight of them increased their annual emissions of smog-forming nitrogen oxide during that period.

But Jack Shaner, an Ohio Environmental Council spokesman, noted that FirstEnergy Corp.'s coal-fired Bay Shore power plant in Oregon posted reductions.

Contact Tom Henry at:
or 419-724-6079.

This information is posted for nonprofit educational purposes, in accordance with U.S. Code Title 17, Chapter 1,Sec. 107 copyright laws.
For more information go to: If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for
purposes of your own that go beyond "fair use," you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.

Great Lakes environmental information

Return to Great Lakes Directory Home/ Site Map