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Electric utility air toxics report to Congress FR Notice

Because of the interest in the mercury issue in Michigan and 
the Great Lakes, I am posting this to Enviro-Mich and Glin-Announce

Alex Sagady
Sierra Club Mackinac Chapter

[Federal Register: March 3, 1998 (Volume 63, Number 41)]
[Page 10378-10379]
>From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]




Electric Utility Hazardous Air Pollutant Study Final Report to 

AGENCY: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

ACTION: Notice of Document Availability.


SUMMARY: The Final Report to Congress on the EPA's Electric Utility 
Hazardous Air Pollutant Study (hereafter ``Final Report'') has been 
completed. This Final Report was prepared by the EPA in response to 
section 112(n)(1)(A) of the Clean Air Act as amended in 1990 (hereafter 
``the Act''), which required the EPA to submit to Congress the results 
of a study of emissions of hazardous air pollutants (HAPs) from 
electric utility steam generating units (utilities) and on the hazards 
to public health reasonably anticipated to occur as a result of these 
emissions. Congress directed that the report describe alternative 
control strategies for HAP emissions which may warrant regulation.

DATES: The Final Report was transmitted to the Congress on February 24, 

ADDRESSES: Copies of the Final Report will be available from Public 
Docket No. A-92-55 at the following address: U.S. Environmental 
Protection Agency, Air and Radiation Docket and Information Center 
(6102), 401 M Street, S.W., Washington, D.C. 20460. The docket is 
located at the above address in room M-1500, Waterside Mall (ground 
floor), and may be inspected from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., Monday 
through Friday. The Final Report (docket entry A-92-55, I-A-____) is 
available for review in the docket center or copies may be mailed on 
request from the Air and Radiation Docket and Information Center by 
calling (202) 260-7548 or -7549. The FAX number for the Center is (202) 
260-4000. A reasonable fee may be charged for copying docket materials. 
The final report will also be available on the Technology Transfer 
Network (TTN) (see below) and from the National Technical Information 
Service (NTIS). The NTIS may be accessed by telephone at (800) 553-6847 
or through the Internet at ``http://www.fedworld.gov/ntis/


    Docket No. A-92-55, containing supporting information used in 
developing the Final Report, is available for public inspection and 
copying as noted above. The docket is an organized file of information 
used by the EPA in the development of this Final Report.

Technology Transfer Network

    The final report is available electronically on the TTN, one of the 
EPA's electronic bulletin boards. The final report is accessible 
through the Internet at ``http://www.epa.gov/airlinks.''

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: For information concerning specific 
aspects of this study, contact Mr. William Maxwell [telephone number 
(919) 541-5430], Combustion Group, Emission Standards Division (MD-13), 
or Mr. Chuck French [telephone number (919) 541-0467], Risk and 
Exposure Assessment Group, Air Quality Strategies and Standards 
Division (MD-15), U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Research 
Triangle Park, North Carolina 27711.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The final report provides information 
regarding the emission, fate, and transport of HAPs from utilities. The 
primary components of the report are: (1) A description of the 
industry; (2) an analysis of emissions data; (3) an assessment of 
hazards and risks due to inhalation exposures to 67 HAPs; (4) 
assessments of risks due to multipathway (inhalation plus non-
inhalation) exposures to four HAPs (radionuclides, mercury, arsenic, 
and dioxins); and (5) a discussion of alternative control strategies. 
The assessment for mercury in the report also includes a description of 
emissions, deposition estimates, control technologies, and a dispersion 
and fate modeling assessment which includes predicted levels of mercury 
in various media (including soil, water, and freshwater fish) based on 
modeling from four representative utility plants using hypothetical 
    Based on available information and current analyses, the EPA 
believes that mercury from coal-fired utilities is the HAP of greatest 
potential concern and merits additional research and monitoring. There 
are uncertainties regarding the extent of risks due to mercury 
exposures including those from utility emissions. Further research and 
evaluation are needed to gain a better understanding of the risks and 
impacts of utility mercury emissions. In addition, further research and 
evaluation of potential control technologies and strategies for mercury 
are needed.
    For a few other HAPs, there also are still some remaining potential 
concerns and uncertainties that may need further study. First, the 
screening multipathway assessments for dioxins and arsenic suggest that 
these two HAPs are of potential concern (primarily from coal-fired 
plants); however, further evaluations and review are needed to better 
characterize the impacts of dioxins and arsenic emissions from 
utilities. Second, nickel emissions from oil-fired utilities are of 
potential concern, but significant uncertainties still exist with 
regards to the nickel forms emitted from utilities and the health 
effects of those various forms. The impacts due to HAP emissions from 
gas-fired utilities are negligible based on the results of this study; 
therefore, the EPA feels that there is no need for further evaluation 
of the risks of HAP emissions from natural gas-fired utilities.

[[Page 10379]]

    Dated: February 25, 1998.
Richard D. Wilson,
Acting Assistant, Administrator for Air and Radiation.
[FR Doc. 98-5411 Filed 3-2-98; 8:45 am]

Alex J. Sagady & Associates        Email:  asagady@sojourn.com
Environmental Consulting and Database Systems
PO Box 39  East Lansing, MI  48826-0039  
(517) 332-6971 (voice); (517) 332-8987 (fax)