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Electric Utility Report to Congress (03/05/98)

On February 25, 1998 EPA released its Electric Utility Study Report to Congress. The report is required by Sect;112(n)(1)(A) of the Clean Air Act. Section 112(n)(1)(A) requires EPA to assess public health risks likely to occur as a result of hazardous air pollutant (HAP) emissions from electric utility steam generating units. The statute also directs EPA to conduct its public health assessment assuming all requirements of the Clean Air Act have been fully implemented. Based on the results of the study, EPA is directed to determine if additional regulation of electric utility steam generating units is necessary and appropriate.

EPA concludes that "mercury from coal-fired utilities is the HAP of greatest potential concern and merits additional research and monitoring." The report also states that the screening multipathway assessments for dioxins and arsenic suggest that these two HAPs are of potential concern from coal-fired plants. Nickel emission from oil-fired plants are of potential concern, but significant uncertainties exist with regard to the form of the nickel emitted and to the health effects of those various forms.

The report's Executive Summary is available at http://www.epa.gov/ttn/oarpg/t3rc.html.

EPA has stated that a complete copy of the report will be available on or about March 9th. The formal title of the report is "Study of Hazardous Air Pollutant Emissions from Electric Utility Steam Generating Units -- Final Report to Congress," February 1998 (EPA-453/R-98-004 a&b). Paper copies of the complete report should be available through the National Technical Information Service (NTIS) before the end of March 1998.

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Last Revised: May 22, 1998