Cement kilns produce mercury, which gets into the fish we eat making it unsafe (Photo courtesy of the US Fish and Wildlife Service)
After years of urging, the US Environmental Protection Agency is proposing regulations to cut down on pollution from cement kilns. Lester Graham reports:
After years of urging the US Environmental Protection Agency is proposing regulations to cut down on pollution from cement kilns. Lester Graham reports:
Cement – the stuff used to make concrete – is made by baking limestone and other ingredients at really high temperatures in huge coal-burning ovens.
Burning the coal and baking the stone both release mercury. The mercury gets into the food chain and contaminates fish.
Mercury is a neuro-toxin, so eating contaminated fish can cause health problems, including IQ loss.
For 20 years Congress and the courts have been telling the EPA to do something about mercury pollution from cement kilns.
Jim Pew is a staff attorney with Earth Justice, an environmental group. It’s sued the EPA over the issue.
“The government response until now has not been to try to get mercury under control, since everybody agrees it’s a problem. The response has been to tell people ‘mercury is out there, so don’t eat the fish.’”
Under the EPA proposal, cement kilns would have to clean up the mercury and other pollution emitted from their smokestacks.
A growing number of electricity customers in Ontario are
using so-called smart meters, which will charge more for electricity
used during peak hours of the day. The Great Lakes Radio Consortium’s
Karen Kelly reports:
A growing number of electricity customers in Ontario are using so-called smart
will charge more for electricity used during peak hours of the day. The Great Lakes
Consortium’s Karen Kelly reports:
Right now, electricity customers in Ontario pay the same amount to run their
dishwasher at 6 p.m.
– during peak hours – as they do at ten in the morning. But it costs the province
more to produce
that power during peak times.
The heavy demand is a strain on Ontario’s aging electricity plants. So, the
province plans to
install smart electricity meters in every home and business over the next five years.
Ted Gruetzner is with the Ontario Ministry of Energy.
“It allows people to track their energy use depending on the time of day and monitor
using power so they can turn their lights off at certain times or use their ovens or
different times of day.”
That’s because electricity used during peak hours will cost consumers more. Ontario
is the first
jurisdiction in North America to use this system.
For the Great Lakes Radio Consortium, I’m Karen Kelly.