The J.H. Campbell coal-fired power plant in Port Sheldon Township was put on the top of the Environmental Integrity Projects list of the nation’s plants that pollute the most carcinogenic metals. According to the report, the Consumers Energy owned plant produces more pounds of carcinogenic metals than any other coal-fired power plant in the nation. The Environmental Integrity Project created the list to determine the progress of reducing pollution (mostly mercury) of U.S. coal-fired power plants. The EIP reports that the plant released 2,904 lbs of chromium, 522 lbs of cobalt, 2,458 lbs of lead, and 3,304 lbs of nickel, for a total of 8,666 lbs of carcinogenic metals released during 2011.
The EIP Reports that these metals are released when coal is burned and are believed to cause nervous system disorders, gastrointestinal effects, and liver or kidney damage. There is a new set of regulations that would help cut pollution by requiring increased filtration of emissions by 2015 called the Mercury Air Toxics Rule, but it is being fought by companies in the industry and is unclear whether it will hold up.