Wednesday, March 15, 2006

The ides of March and mercury pollution

The ides of March. Not the best day for Julius Caesar.

But also something of a minor – and miserable – landmark for the environment. It was a year ago today that the US EPA rolled out its industry-friendly plan for mercury pollution from coal-burning electric power plants. You may recall that it would not require any mercury-specific pollution controls until at least 2018. EPA’s own assessments showed that because the agency would let power companies buy and sell the right to spew out mercury, high levels of mercury pollution would continue for at least two more decades.

EPA said it cut so much slack for industry because there was no “commercially available” mercury cleanup system available. But many states have pushed ahead on their own to try to deal with this poison. And it now turns out that state-driven, mercury pollution control contracts are being signed right and left. (See the most recent one, below, announced earlier this week.)

How much longer, do you think, the federal government will pretend it’s impossible to deal with this issue?



FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

ADA-ES AWARDED CONTRACT FOR MERCURY CONTROL SYSTEMS FOR
TWO COAL-FIRED POWER PLANTS

Littleton, CO – March 13, 2006 - ADA-ES, Inc. (NASDAQ:ADES) today announced that it has been awarded a new contract to supply commercial mercury control systems for two existing, 350 Gross MW rated, coal-fired power plants in the Eastern U.S. The total value of contracts for the activated carbon injection equipment is in excess of $1.7 million. It is expected that the equipment will be designed, fabricated, and delivered during late summer of 2006. Plans call for the first unit to be in operation by early fall 2006 and the second unit in early 2007. The mercury control systems will be installed on existing electrostatic precipitators for the control of mercury emissions.

ADA-ES has demonstrated activated carbon-based mercury control technology at over 20 power plants across the country and this technology has become the leading option for control of mercury emissions.

Mike Durham, President of ADA-ES, stated, “These contracts reinforce the important role that carbon injection technology is playing in the control of mercury from coal-fired power plants. Combined with the six contracts we announced in the past six months, we now have contracts for eight commercial mercury control systems. We continue to provide quotes to a number of power plants and expect more contracts to be awarded for this key technology this year. These contracts also show that state regulations and consent decrees are significant drivers for the mercury control business; future drivers include additional state and pending federal mercury control laws.”

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