States petition for mercury reduction

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Vermont is one of seven states petitioning the federal Environmental Protection Agency to take stronger steps to reduce mercury pollution from power plants outside the region.

The states, also including Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New York, Rhode Island and New Hampshire, have formally requested the EPA to convene a conference of all states whose mercury emissions contaminate lakes and rivers in New York and New England.

The conference would be convened under a provision of the Clean Water Act with the purpose of crafting an agreement on how to meet mercury reduction targets.

New York’s environmental commissioner, Pete Grannis, says airborne pollution from upwind coal-fired power plants is the primary source of mercury in Adirondack and Catskill waters.

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