Study: Coal-fired power stations caused surge in airborne mercury pollution

This article describes how coal-fired power plants has caused significant air pollution. The survey says airborne mercury pollution from stations in Victoria’s Latrobe valley increased 37% in just 12 months.

Airborne mercury pollution from coal-fired power stations in Victoria’s Latrobe valley increased 37% in just 12 months, according to an annual national survey of toxic emissions.

The mercury output from Loy Yang B power station alone more than doubled to 831kg in 2016-2017, an increase of 123% over five years.

The brown coal burning power station produced more than 640 times the airborne mercury pollution of Eraring power station near Newcastle, New South Wales.

Eraring, Australia’s largest coal-fired power station, produces three times the energy of Loy Yang B power station but reported just 1.3kg of airborne mercury pollution in 2016-17, a reduction of 97% over the past five years.

The pollution gap between the two power stations is an example of the failure of state-based regulators to properly and consistently control air pollution, Environmental Justice Australia researcher Dr James Whelan said.

Whelan released the pollution figures on Tuesday, after spending four days analysing the National Pollutant Inventory (NPI) data released last week.

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