Mercury Emission Bank Pilot Project
|Description:||Summary: The Center for Clean Air Policy (Center) developed a model mercury emissions bank and other market-based programs to encourage early reductions in mercury emissions and early benefits to the Great Lakes. The Center worked with stakeholders in Minnesota to achieve agreement on the need for standardized measurement, monitoring and reporting protocols, encouraging consideration of regional measurement and reporting standards, and initiating a project designed to demonstrate the viability of measuring and verifying reductions in mercury emissions. The Center also supported the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources proposed a cap-trade-and-bank program.
Environmental Results/Products: The Center staff worked with the stakeholders on Minnesota’s Mercury Contamination Reduction Initiative Advisory Council (AC) to develop a program that would reduce mercury emissions in the state in a cost effective manner and includes banking as a way to encourage voluntary, early reduction.
The Center educated stakeholders on the topics of emissions banking and other incentives, encouraged the use of efficiency and effectiveness as primary criteria for evaluating policy options, introduced information on viable control options for the electricity sector, and advocated for a shorter and more productive decision-making process.
The Center worked with Northern Indiana Public Service Company (NIPSCO) to verify reductions in mercury emissions resulting from their Biomass Initiative, which involved replacing a portion of their coal with biomass and petroleum coke, in order to demonstrate the viability of banking mercury emissions reductions. In the absence of standardized rules for how to register early reductions in mercury emissions, the Center worked with NIPSCO, in consultation with the Indiana Department of Environmental Protection (IDEM) to develop a good estimate of the reductions from their program.
The Center supported Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (WDNR) proposed a cap-trade and bank program as a way to reduce mercury emissions in advance of any future federal requirements and at a lower cost than more traditional regulatory programs. The Center provided recommendations on how their proposed cap-trade and bank program could be improved in order to account for equity issues, ensure the desired effectiveness, encourage reductions in multiple pollutants simultaneously, and enable participants to consider the economic impact of proposed trading restrictions. In addition, we advised the WNDR on process issues experienced in Minnesota.
The Center promoted emissions banking and other market-based policy options at the regional level in the upper Midwest, New England, and Canada. They introduced the idea of mercury emissions banking along with a variety of other voluntary and mandatory incentive programs at the November 1998 Great Lakes Binational Toxics Strategy (GLBTS) mini-conference on Mercury and Utilities. The Center presented the mercury emission reduction measurement methods at the Mercury in the Environment Specialty Conference hosted by the Air & Waste Management Association in September 1999.
The following are some of the Center’s work products:
• Draft policy options and strategies authored by the Center for Clean Air Policy for publication in the forthcoming Surfers report;
• Air and Waste Management Association’s Mercury in the Environment Specialty Conference paper entitled Verifying Mercury Reductions from Co-Firing with Biomass,
• Comments on the Electric Utility Steam Generating Unit Mercury Emissions Information Collection Effort
Below is a list of organizations with individual contacts that are funding this project.
Organizations Receiving Funding
Below is a list of organizations with individual contacts that are receiving funding for this project.
Center for Clean Air Policy - Primary Contact
750 First St, NE, Suite 1140
Washington, District of Columbia 20002
p: (202) 408-9260
Below is a list of associated organizations that are NOT giving or receiving funding for this project.
Northern Indiana Public Service Company (NIPSCO) - Partner
801 E. 86th Ave.
Merrillville, Indiana 46410
One East Hazelwood Drive; Champaign, IL; 61820; (800) 407-0261; firstname.lastname@example.org