Doyle wants to reduce mercury emissions
Wisconsin Gov. Jim Doyle is calling for a 90 percent reduction of mercury emissions from coal-fired power plants in the state.
To achieve that goal he has ordered the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources to come up with a plan that includes both rules and incentives.
"Mercury is a real threat not only to our rivers and lakes but also to the health of our citizens. This tough standard will ensure that Wisconsin remains at the forefront of controlling this environmental hazard," said Doyle.
Doyle also called for a ban on mercury in products such as utility lights in car trunks, thermostats, barometers and thermometers and for the recycling of mercury thermostats and mercury-containing amalgam from dental offices.
A rule requiring an 80 percent reduction of mercury emissions by 2018 was adopted by the DNR in 2004.
Doyle's announcement was immediately criticized by the Wisconsin Manufacturer's and Commerce, a statewide business lobbying group.
The group said Doyle is reneging on a deal he made to go along with recently announced federal standards of a 70 percent reduction.
"The experts at the EPA have been clear that Doyle's additional mercury mandate has no public health benefit," said Scott Manley, director of Environmental Policy for Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce.
"We shouldn't drive up electric bills in our state just to appease a handful of environmental radicals in an election year," he added.