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RE: [greenyes] FW: [mnkids] FL Hg drop w/emissions/batteries reduction

I posted it for the very reason you ask the question. What is a safe
emission from an incinerator? I think it also raises the question about what
is being measured. Florida closed incinerators over the past nine years but
they only mention putting scrubbers on the remaining ones as the
"curtailing" of emissions. In Minnesota and Florida this is part of the big
spin by folks who are using the recent outcry against the coal burning power
plants that sets incinerators up for kudos on "reduced" emissions from
burning trash.

Sorry I don't have the answers. For that matter, I'm sorry you don't have
the answers. I'm not sure who does.


Susan Hubbard
Eureka Recycling
2828 Kennedy St., NE
Minneapolis, MN 55413


Waste is Preventable Not Inevitable

-----Original Message-----
From: Eric Lombardi [mailto:eric@no.address]
Sent: Monday, August 09, 2004 11:20 AM
To: Susan Hubbard; greenyes@no.address
Subject: Re: [greenyes] FW: [mnkids] FL Hg drop w/emissions/batteries

So does this mean that the emissions level are now "safe"? I can see the
WTE industry taking this sort of "endorsement" for the new technology to the
bank, but this article never addresses whether or not the "new and reduced"
pollution levels are safe? (And please don't tell me there is "no safe
level"... we have to do better than that.)

I am becoming increasingly alarmed at the momentum building supporting the
"new waste-to-energy" technology. I was recently in Paris with a group of
international Zero Waste experts, and we heard all about how clean the new
plants are, and, how much better it is to create energy from waste than it
is to invade Iraq.


----- Original Message -----
From: "Susan Hubbard" <susanh@no.address>
To: <greenyes@no.address>
Sent: Tuesday, August 03, 2004 3:08 PM
Subject: [greenyes] FW: [mnkids] FL Hg drop w/emissions/batteries reduction

> MN Kids Enviro Health <mnkids@no.address> -- posted by dwallinga@no.address
> ============================================================
> Everglades Mercury Levels Fall Sharply, Study Shows
> Thu Jul 15, 2004 04:37 PM ET
> MIAMI (Reuters) - Mercury levels in the Florida Everglades have fallen
> sharply since authorities curtailed waste incinerators and battery
> manufacturers reduced their use of the heavy metal, university researchers
> said on Thursday.
> After analyzing nearly a century of data from bird feathers, the
> from the University of Florida said they had proved that dangerously high
> levels of mercury found in the wetlands in the early 1990s had been caused
> by local waste incineration.
> Mercury levels found in the feathers of birds last year were 90 percent
> lower than in 1994, following the introduction of new regulations
> waste incinerators install pollution-cutting scrubbers on their smoke
> stacks, said Peter Frederick, an associate professor of wildlife ecology
> the university's Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences.
> "This is a triumph of regulation, which is something you don't hear about
> very often," Frederick added.
> The study found it took about seven years for mercury levels in the birds
> decline after emissions were curtailed.
> The fall in mercury levels also coincided with the voluntary phasing out
> the 1980s of the use of mercury by some major battery manufacturers, which
> cut the amount of toxins in household waste, the researchers said.
> The University of Florida findings could play a part in a national debate
> over mercury emissions from coal-fired power stations in identifying local
> sources of pollution, rather than global sources, as the main reason for
> mercury contamination.
> Environmentalists, and some U.S. states, accuse the Bush administration
> the Environmental Protection Agency of not enforcing the Clean Air Act,
> abandoning strict controls on mercury emissions from power plants.
> Florida has few coal-fired power plants and gets most of its electricity
> from nuclear power, which is why waste incinerators ranked as the main
> source of Everglades mercury contamination.
> Mercury is a toxin that causes reproductive and behavioral problems in
> birds. The metal also is toxic to humans, and can cause serious
> damage.
> The University of Florida study said populations of wading birds in the
> Everglades dropped by 90 percent between the 1950s and the 1980s, and high
> mercury levels played a part. The numbers of breeding pairs in the marsh
> the last five years were higher than they had been in the previous 30
> The findings appear in the June issue of the journal Environmental
> Toxicology and Chemistry.
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