Mercury rising

US states fear a federal cap and trade programme intended to reduce mercury emissions will lead to mercury hot spots, along with the forced closure of plants within states that don't enter the scheme. Catherine Lacoursiere investigates

To reduce mercury emissions from coal-fired plants, the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is preparing to launch its third major emissions trading programme. Modelled after the successful sulfur dioxide (SO2) and nitrogen oxide (NOx) programmes, the first phase of the mercury cap and trade programme under the US EPA's Clean Air Mercury Rule (CAMR) is set to go into effect in 2010.

The emissions trading programme, however, is facing serious opposition from a number of US states who contend

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