Washington state's only coal plant nears emissions reductions

Washington state's only coal-fired power plant would reduce its mercury by 50 percent and nitrogen oxide emissions 20 percent by 2012 under a proposed agreement with the state Department of Ecology.

“This agreement will lead to real improvements in visibility and lower health risk from airborne mercury,” said Stuart Clark, Ecology’s air-quality program manager.

The Sierra Club, which has mounted a national and regional campaign to shut down coal plants and halt construction of new ones, said the agreement goes too easy on the state’s largest stationary source of air pollution. The agreement doesn’t address the 9 million tons of greenhouse gases the Centralia plant spews into the air annually, Sierra Club’s Ethan Bergerson said.

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