February 1, 2007
Coal plants giants among polluters
Ontario’s four coal plants dwarf most other air pollution sources in the province, according to new calculations by the Ontario Clean Air Alliance. Our new report, OPG: Ontario’s Pollution Giant, documents the staggering emissions from the province’s coal plants and their gigantic contribution to climate change.
Using federal government data, we found that carbon dioxide emissions from the coal plants increased by 90% between 1995 and 2005 and are now responsible for a whopping 40% of the province’s total industrial carbon dioxide emissions. Carbon dioxide is the major greenhouse gas that causes dangerous climate change.
But it’s not just what these massive polluters are pumping into our air. It turns out, they are also big landfillers of ash containing toxic materials like arsenic and mercury while also shipping tonnes of this material to other facilities for uses ranging from road building to making cement (a process during which the toxics in the ash are reheated and possibly re-released).
Installing pollution controls that can’t capture carbon dioxide or shipping mercury containing ash to cement kilns are perfect examples of the futility of trying to use end-of-pipe solutions to deal with the massive pollution footprint of coal plants. A far better solution is to quickly replace dirty coal with energy efficiency, renewable power and cleaner burning natural gas – a recipe for real pollution abatement.
To read this report, please visit http://www.cleanair.web.ca/resource/opgiant.pdf
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Phone: 416-926-1907 ext. 245