EEI > Issues & Policy > Environment > Clean Air > Electric Companies and Mercury
Electric Companies and Mercury
The electric power industry is committed to reducing mercury emissions.
Coal-based power plants currently emit about 53 tons of mercury annually, comprising about half of man-made emissions in the United States, and just one percent of total global emissions. Existing control technologies for sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxides, and particulate matter reduce power plant mercury emissions by roughly 40 percent.
Electric companies are also helping the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) test the effectiveness of emerging, mercury-specific control technologies.
Power sector emissions will be further reduced as new controls are deployed to meet current ozone and acid rain program requirements.
The electric power industry is currently required to report its mercury emissions under the Clean Air Act. Additionally, electric companies report their mercury emissions under the agency’s Toxics Release Inventory program.