New Hampshire Senate approves stricter mercury rules than feds

At risk of getting stuck with a number of toxic mercury hotspots under the Bush administration’s new mercury cap-and-trade rule, New Hampshire’s Senate approved a bill yesterday to adopt rules more stringent than the feds’ and to ban the state’s two coal-fired power plants from trading pollution allowances with cleaner facilities. If the bill, which now goes to the state House, becomes law, power plants in the state would be required to cut mercury emissions to 50 pounds annually by 2009 and 24 pounds by 2013, down from current annual emissions of about 130 pounds. “It’s a win for all of New Hampshire because it puts New Hampshire as the leader in reducing pollution from our coal-fired power plants,” said Sierra Clubber Catherine Corkery. As the much-derided federal mercury rule allows states to set stricter limits and opt out of the cap-and-trade program, New Hampshire may be just the first of many to clamp down harder on the neurotoxin.