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Missouri One of Nation’s Biggest Mercury Polluters

Megan Lynch
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AFP/Getty/ Saul Loeb

AFP/Getty/ Saul Loeb

CBS St. Louis (con't)

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ST. LOUIS, Mo. (KMOX) - A new report ranks Missouri 11th in the nation for the amount of mercury emissions that pour from utility smoke stacks.

“Missouri gets over 80-percent of its energy from coal.”  And Ted Mathys, State Advocate with Environment Missouri, says that’s why the state’s power plants belch out so much mercury.

But Mathys says it doesn’t have to be that way.  He says other states have taken action to cut emissions.  And as the federal government looks at new rules, he wants to see a 90-percent reduction. 

Mathys says the health risks are too great.  “We know that children who are exposed to lower levels of mercury in utero can have impaired brain functions, including verbal attention and motor control problems, as well as language deficits and lower i.q.’s,” points out Mathys.

Environment Missouri also discovered one of Missouri’s biggest power producers — Ameren’s Labadie Plant — is 15th in the nation for mercury emissions.

Mathys says his Environment Missouri timed the study as federal regulators are set to propose new standards for mercury pollution this spring and finalize rules by the end of the year.

The group is also urging policy makers to consider more clean energy alternatives.

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