It’s not safe to eat too much of the fish in any Kentucky stream or river because they have high levels of mercury. It comes from power plants throughout the region. In Kentucky, more than 3000 tons of mercury settle back to earth each year. State Air Quality head John Lyons says that because a federal rule to curb mercury emissions was vacated by the courts, Kentucky plans to author its own regulation.
“Kentucky had adopted that rule to move forward with mercury reductions at power plants. But given that rule has been vacated and likely will remain so, and in the absence of any other federal rule and the uncertainty of that, we’re moving forward with developing our own rules here in the state,” Lyons says.
No power plant in Kentucky currently has mercury emission controls. So Lyons says the state will be researching how to create a program from the ground up. Preliminary guidelines could be in place by mid-2009.