Nations agree on global, legally binding treaty on mercury emissions: Minamata Convention on Mercury

Green Car Congress

At the conclusion of the International Negotiating Committee on Mercury ( INC5 ) meeting in Geneva ( earlier post ), nations agreed on a global, legally-binding treaty to prevent mercury emissions and releases. The treaty, which has been four years in negotiation and which will be open for signature at a special meeting in Japan in October, also addresses the direct mining of mercury, export and import of the metal and safe storage of waste mercury.

New analysis finds Asia produces twice as much mercury emissions as previously thought

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New analysis by an international team led by MIT researchers shows that Asia now releases a surprisingly large amount of anthropogenic mercury. While its increased burning of coal was known to exacerbate mercury emissions and air pollution, the MIT-led team estimates that Asia produces more than double the mercury emissions previously estimated. The new analysis provides more accurate estimates of sources of mercury emissions around the world.


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EPA issues first National Standards for mercury and air toxics pollution from power plants

Green Car Congress

The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has issued the Mercury and Air Toxics Standards (MATS), the first national standards for power plant emissions of mercury and toxic air pollutants (also known as hazardous air pollutants, HAPs) such as arsenic, acid gas, nickel, selenium, and cyanide. Today, more than half of all coal-fired power plants already deploy pollution control technologies that will help them meet these standards.

Final session on international mercury convention this week expected to culminate in agreement; UNEP Global Mercury Assessment 2013 finds industrial source Hg emissions may be rising

Green Car Congress

The fifth and final session of negotiations on the establishment of an international mercury convention—International Negotiating Committee on Mercury (INC5)—is taking place this coming week in Geneva. The session is expected to culminate in the adoption of a new convention by the 147 states attending the session to reduce mercury emissions and releases to the air, water and land. Global anthropogenic mercury emissions from industrial sources may be rising.

2013 221

QUILL researchers showcasing ionic liquid-based processes for removing mercury from natural gas, capturing CO2

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Researchers from QUILL —the Queen’s University (Belfast) Ionic Liquid Laboratories—will display a novel process for removing toxic mercury from natural gas using ionic liquids at the Royal Society’s Summer Science Exhibition. Petro-chemical giants PETRONAS and Clariant recently signed a licensing agreement for the mercury-removal material developed with QUILL. zero potential for pollution, ionic liquids are much “greener” than the solvents traditionally used in industry.

Exposure to airborne metal pollution associated with increased risk of mortality

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A European study has used wild moss samples to estimate human exposure to airborne metal particles in order to analyze the relationship between atmospheric metal pollution and risk of mortality. These samples are analysed in the laboratory to measure the presence of 13 elements: aluminium, arsenic, calcium, cadmium, chromium, copper, iron, mercury, sodium, nickel, lead, vanadium and zinc. The metals deemed to be of anthropogenic origin were cadmium, copper, mercury, lead and zinc.

2019 204

Euro Parliament Environment Committee votes for tightened air pollution targets

Green Car Congress

The Environment Committee (ENVI) of the European Parliament tightened up a European Commission proposal and called for more ambitious national caps on emissions of six main pollutants in order to cut emissions by 70% across the EU and save €40 billion (US$44 billion) in air pollution costs by 2030. MEPs also want to include emissions reduction ceilings on mercury, and a midpoint target for most caps of 2025. That proposal sets national ERCs for the six air pollutants.

2015 219

EEA says industrial air pollution cost Europe up to €169 billion in 2009; some 37% attributed to CO2

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Aggregated damage costs by pollutant. Air pollution from the 10,000 largest polluting facilities in Europe cost citizens between €102–169 billion (US$135–224 billion) in 2009, according to a new report from the European Environment Agency (EEA) which analyzed the costs of harm to health and the environment caused by air pollution. —Revealing the costs of air pollution from industrial facilities in Europe.

2011 224

University of Alberta Researchers Find That Oil Sands Industry Is Releasing More Pollutants Into Athabasca River System Than Previously Estimated

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New research from a team at the University of Alberta, Canada, finds that Alberta’s oilsands industry is releasing more pollutants into the Athabasca River, its tributaries and its watershed than previously estimated. Contrary to claims made by industry and government in the popular press, the oil sands industry substantially increases loadings of toxic PPE [priority pollutants] to the AR and its tributaries via air and water pathways.

ORNL study identifies more biopathways for formation of toxic methylmercury

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More forms of mercury can be converted to methylmercury—a form of mercury that can be taken into the food chain and eventually can result in mercury-contaminated fish—than previously thought, according to a study led by a team of researchers from Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) published in Nature Geoscience. Instead of becoming more toxic, they reasoned that elemental mercury would bubble out of water and dissipate.

2013 170

California ARB and NOAA Collaborating in $20M Research on Interaction of Air Pollution and Climate Change; One Atmosphere Approach

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The California Air Resources Board (ARB) and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) are collaborating in the $20-million CalNex research project to examine the nexus between air pollution and climate change. These connections arise because in many cases the agents of concern are the same, and in many cases the sources of the agents are the same or intimately connected.For example, surface ozone is both an air pollutant and a greenhouse gas.

EPA awards $6M in research funding to improve air quality models

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The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced $5,959,842 million in research funding to nine institutions to improve air quality models used to simulate ozone, particulate matter (PM), regional haze, air toxics, and emerging pollutants. This research will advance our understanding of the sources and chemistry of air pollutants and how they move in the atmosphere.

2020 184

BREAKING NEWS: EPA Head Lisa Jackson To Resign

Green Car Reports

As well as setting standards to cut mercury and other toxins from coal power plant pollution and limits on the dumping of waste, Jackson has played a major part in reducing the emissions and Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Lisa Jackson confirmed this morning that she is to resign from her position, the Washington Post reports.

2012 111

Study from Thuringia shows 50% of harmful soot comes from local sources, 50% from long-distance transport

Green Car Congress

Soot particles from oil and wood heating systems as well as road traffic can pollute the air in Europe on a much larger scale than previously assumed.

WHO attributes more than 1 in 4 deaths annually of children under 5 years to unhealthy environment

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WHO estimated in 2012 that 26% of childhood deaths and 25% of the total disease burden in children under five could be prevented through the reduction of environmental risks such as air pollution, unsafe water, sanitation and inadequate hygiene or chemicals. —“Don’t Pollute My Future”. The report, Don’t pollute my future! 92% of the global population, including billions of children, live in areas with ambient air pollution levels that exceed WHO limits.

2017 174

Plug-in Hybrid Study: Electricity Better

Plugs and Cars

Simply put, the study found what advocates of electric transportation have long held to be true: as regards greenhouse gases and pollution generally speaking, the worst electricity is still better than petroleum. Tags: air pollution union of concerned scientists environmental organizations dan becker air quality epri NRDC Sierra Club

2007 100

Solvay launches rare earth recycling activity in France

Green Car Congress

Used light bulbs are collected, sorted and processed by specialized companies who recycle their different components (glass, metals, plastics, mercury). A leader in rare earth-based formulations, Solvay develops a large number of innovations used in everyday applications (flat screens, low-energy light bulbs, automotive pollution control, high precision optics, etc.). Belgium-based chemical group Solvay has opened two rare earth recycling units in France.

France 259

EPA, NSF, NOAA, Southern Company and EPRI contribute >$20M to fund SouthEast Atmosphere Study

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SAS is the “umbrella” for a set of other projects: NOMADSS (Nitrogen, Oxidants, Mercury and Aerosol Distributions, Sources and Sinks); SOAS (Southern Oxidant & Aerosol Study); NAAMEX (North American Airborne Mercury Experiment); TROPHONO (TROPospheric HONO); and SENEX (Southeast Nexus). NOMADSS integrates three proposed studies: the Southern Oxidant and Aerosol Study (SOAS), the North American Airborne Mercury Experiment (NAAMEX), and the TROPospheric HONO (TROPHONO).

EPRI 170

EPA SmartWay honors 44 freight carriers for exceptional supply chain efficiency

Green Car Congress

Since 2004, SmartWay Partners have avoided emitting more than 72 million metric tons of carbon pollution, while saving more than 170 million barrels of oil and $24.9 Mercury Services, Inc. The US Environmental Protection Agency’s SmartWay Excellence Awards have recognized 43 truck carriers and one barge carrier as industry leaders in supply chain environmental and energy efficiency.

2016 179

Study finds changes in the Arctic sea ice cover may be driving changes in atmospheric chemistry

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Significant reductions of older perennial Arctic sea ice that has resulted in an expansion of younger and saltier sea ice may be intensifying the chemical release of bromine into the atmosphere, resulting in the depletion of ground-level ozone but also the deposit of toxic mercury in the Arctic, according to a new NASA-led study which has been accepted for publication in the AGU’s Journal of Geophysical Research-Atmospheres.

2012 185

EPA report shows progress in reducing urban air toxics across US; 50% reduction from mobile sources since 1990

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The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released the Second Integrated Urban Air Toxics Report to Congress—the final of two reports required under the Clean Air Act (CAA) to inform Congress of progress in reducing public health risks from urban air toxics (also referred to as hazardous air pollutants or HAPs). approximately 3 million tons per year of criteria pollutants, such as particulate matter and sulfur dioxide, have been reduced as co-benefits of air toxics reductions.

2014 229

Duke study finds China’s synthetic natural gas plants will have heavy environmental toll; 2x vehicle GHG if used for fuel

Green Car Congress

They] will lock in high greenhouse gas emissions, water use and mercury pollution for decades. The study notes that the plants would also emit hydrogen sulfide and mercury, which, if not properly scrubbed and treated, are potentially harmful to human health.

2013 192

US Awards $1B in Recovery Act Funding to FutureGen 2.0; Advanced Coal Repowering and CO2 Storage

Green Car Congress

The plant’s new boiler, air separation unit, CO 2 purification and compression unit will deliver 90% CO 2 capture and eliminate most SO x , NO x , mercury, and particulate emissions. In addition, oxy-combustion technology creates a near-zero emissions plant by eliminating almost all of the mercury, SO x , NO x , and particulate pollutants from plant emissions.

2010 191

Cummins MerCrusier and Volkswagen Partner on Tier 3 Marine Diesels

Green Car Congress

Tier 3 prescribes significantly lower thresholds for NO x emissions and other pollutants and requires the further development of diesel combustion technology. and Mercury Marine. Cummins MerCruiser Diesel (CMD), a supplier of marine propulsion solutions, and Volkswagen have formed a partnership to develop and supply marine engines. Commitments include the joint development of marine engines that will comply with the future Tier 3 emissions standard.

Indiana U study suggests cost-effectiveness of EPA air quality regs more uncertain than commonly believed

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The US EPA estimates that its air pollution regulations save thousands of lives annually. The bulk of these regulations require national emissions standards for hazardous air pollutants; analysis includes the Mercury and Air Toxic Standards and the Cross State Air Pollution Rule. A new study by researchers at Indiana University suggests the estimates are more uncertain than commonly accepted.

2015 191

EPA Administrator Outlines Seven Key Themes for Agency in 2010 and Beyond

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ABuilding on the proposed stronger ambient air quality standards for ozone ( earlier post ), EPA will develop a strategy for a cleaner and more efficient power sector, with strong emission reduction goals for SO 2 , NO x , mercury and other air toxics. EPA will strengthen ambient air quality standards for pollutants such as PM, SO 2 and NO 2 and will achieve additional reductions in air toxics from a range of industrial facilities.

2010 161

Ford Increasing Use of Renewable and Recyclable Materials in Vehicles

Green Car Congress

Ford Mustang, F-150, Focus, Flex, Escape, Expedition and Econoline as well as Mercury Mariner, Lincoln MKS and Navigator also use the sustainable material. The 2 million Ford, Lincoln and Mercury vehicles on the road today with bio-foam seats equates to a reduction in petroleum oil usage of approximately 1.5 Ensure that parts do not contain mercury, hexavalent chromium, cadmium or lead. Ford’s sustainable materials strategy. Click to enlarge.

2010 191

Obama Administration withdraws proposed rulemaking on strengthened ozone standards

Green Car Congress

The Clean Air Act (CAA) requires EPA to set National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) for wide-spread pollutants from numerous and diverse sources considered harmful to public health and the environment. EPA has set NAAQS for six principal pollutants (“criteria pollutants”): carbon monoxide (CO); lead (Pb); nitrogen dioxide (NO 2 ); ozone (O 3 ); particulate matter (PM); and sulfur dioxide (SO 2 ).

Ozone 219

Ford Europe EV Plans, Virginia Now a ZEV State – EV Week In Review: Feb. 15-22, 2021

EV Adoption

The bill allows the State Air Pollution Control Board to adopt both California’s low-emission vehicle standards and its zero-emission vehicle standards that set binding targets for electric vehicle sales as a proportion of all sales by manufacturers in the state. – 19, via Virginia Mercury.

EPA proposes rule for nationwide 30% cut in GHG from existing power plants by 2030 relative to 2005

Green Car Congress

Cutting particle pollution, nitrogen NO x , and SO x by more than 25% as a co-benefit. The proposal provides guidelines for states to develop plans to meet state-specific goals to reduce carbon pollution and gives them the flexibility to design a program that makes the most sense for their unique situation. In 2020, EPA projects a 20% to 23% reduction of SO 2 ; 22% to 24% reduction of NO x ; and a 15% to 18% reduction of mercury, under the proposed Option 1 illustrative scenarios.

2014 185

EPA proposes CO2 emission standards for new fossil fuel-fired power plants

Green Car Congress

EPA in 2007, the Supreme Court determined that greenhouse gases, including carbon dioxide, are air pollutants under the Clean Air Act and EPA must determine if they threaten public health and welfare. While the United States has limits in place for arsenic, mercury and lead pollution that power plants can emit, currently, there are no national limits on the amount of CO 2 new power plants can emit.

2013 203

PHEV Blowback

Plug In Partners

Here is the headline and the lead: Plug-in cars could actually increase air pollution By James R. gasoline use but could increase deadly air pollution in some areas, two reports say. Mercury is toxic. " As someone who has been enthusiastically watching and promoting plug-in hybrid electric vehicles, I was concerned that the headline of an article in USA Today (“Plug-in cars could actually increase air pollution,” Feb. A curious story ran in USA Today last week.

2008 100

EPA tightens ground-level ozone standard to 70 ppb

Green Car Congress

Advances in pollution control technology for vehicles and industry along with other emission reduction standards, including “Tier 3” clean vehicle and fuels standards, the Clean Power Plan and the Mercury and Air Toxics Standards, will significantly cut smog-forming emissions, helping states meet the updated ozone standards. The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

2015 195

UCS Hybrid ScoreCard Dings Automakers for Forced Features in Hybrid Offerings

Green Car Congress

It emits 44% less global warming pollution than its closest conventional counterpart, the Toyota Matrix, and its hybrid drivetrain costs a little more than $3,000. The Honda Insight, conversely, has no forced features, delivers more than 40 miles per gallon, and emits relatively little global warming pollution. The Honda Civic Hybrid, Mercury Milan Hybrid and Ford Fusion Hybrid tied for second with an identical environmental score of 7.8.

2010 204

GE Technology Selected for Hydrogen Energy IGCC Project in California

Green Car Congress

IGCC also significantly reduces criteria emissions—sulfur dioxide, nitrous oxide, mercury and particulate matter—and decreases water consumption by up to 30% (as compared to a conventional coal plant). Chemical scrubbers would filter out pollutants and would separate CO 2 , leaving a hydrogen-rich fuel to power the gas turbine combined-cycle system.

2009 179

Ford researchers report detailed study of the effect of different ethanol blend levels on emissions from FFVs

Green Car Congress

A team at Ford Motor Company’s Research and Innovation Center in Dearborn conducted a detailed study of the effect of ethanol blend level in emissions, using a 2006 model Mercury Grand Marquis flexible fuel vehicle (FFV) operating on E0, E10, E20, E30, E40, E55, and E80 on a chassis dynamometer. Ozone reduction in highly polluted urban areas generally requires reduction of the emissions of both NO x and organic compounds, the Ford team noted.

2013 242

PCAST suggests 6 key components for climate change strategy to President Obama; adaptation and mitigation

Green Car Congress

Continue implementation of Clean Air Act requirements on criteria pollutants (such as SO 2 and NO x ) and hazardous air pollutants (such as mercury) to include creating new performance standards for CO2 emissions from existing stationary sources, which would follow the performance standards for new plants released in March 2012.

DOE to Award $2.4B in Funding for Carbon Capture, Storage and Reuse Projects

Green Car Congress

800 million will be used to expand DOE’s Clean Coal Power Initiative, which provides government co-financing for new coal technologies that can help utilities cut sulfur, nitrogen and mercury pollutants from power plants. The US Department of Energy (DOE) will award $2.4 billion from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act to expand and accelerate the commercial deployment of carbon capture and storage (CCS) and reuse technology.

2009 150

National Academies Report Examines Hidden Cost of Energy Production and Use in US; Estimates $120B in 2005

Green Car Congress

A new report from the National Research Council examines and, when possible, estimates, “hidden” costs of energy production and use—such as the damage air pollution imposes on human health—that are not reflected in market prices of coal, oil, other energy sources, or the electricity and gasoline produced from them. Health and other non-climate damages by life-cycle component for different combinations of fuels and light-duty automobiles in 2005 (top) and 2030 (bottom).

2005 210

DOE funding to boost carbon capture

Green Cars News

The money is to be split between a number of initiatives: - $800million will go towards the Clean Coal Power Initiative which provides government co-financing for new coal technologies that can help utilities cut sulphur, nitrogen and mercury pollutants from power plants. - $1.52billion will be used for a two-part competitive solicitation for large scale industrial carbon capture.

2009 40

Schwarzenegger's Green Cred Fading with CARB Caos

Plugs and Cars

The LA Times headline, Mixed messages in the air, The governor's actions often work against his tough talk on pollution tells the story. Schwarzenegger has vetoed bills that would put new taxes on polluters, spur the development of alternative fuels and help clean the air. The CARB mess is taking the shine off Arnold Schwarzenegger's supposed environmentalism. The firings and their implication has gone international.

2007 100

Ford Making Aggressive Push With EcoBoost and Technologies Such as Ti-VCT for Improved Fuel Economy; Roadmap for Future Generations of EcoBoost Highlights Role as Company Strategy as Well as Product

Green Car Congress

These systems will also need to deliver very low criteria pollutant levels (e.g., As an example of this “democratization of technology”, Ford plans to fit nearly 90% of the Ford, Lincoln and Mercury lineup with EPAS (Electric Power Assist Steering) by 2012. The next-generation of EcoBoost will seek to improve performance and fuel consumption through the use of technologies such as advanced boosting and cooled EGR. Click to enlarge.

2009 170

New study concludes oil sands development has significantly increased PAH and DBT loadings in regional lakes; combined with effects of climate change, a “new ecological state” for the lakes

Green Car Congress

The potential and realized emissions of pollutants, including greenhouse gases and mercury, are also contentious. Standardized values (Z scores) of (A) visible reflectance spectroscopy (VRS) chlorophyll a inferences from the five lakes proximate to major oil sands operations as indicators of lake primary production; (B) total PAH concentrations and (C) total DBT concentrations from all six study sites. Source: Kurek et al. Click to enlarge.