The Times West Virginian

April 21, 2013

Steps taken to lessen pollution from burning coal

By Jonathan Williams
Times West Virginian

FAIRMONT — Since the passage of the Clean Air Act in 1963 and the establishment of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in 1970, many industries have had to make adjustments in the way they operate to protect the environment and stay in business.

The coal industry is no exception. Coal, primarily burned to generate electricity, is one of the “dirtier” fossil fuels, emitting chemicals such as mercury and selenium, which in high enough quantities are toxic to human beings, even setting aside the concerns of carbon-dioxide contributing to global climate change.

However, many steps have been taken over the years to curb pollution from burning coal, and some experts believe, with dedicated research and investment, the environmental impact of coal can be mitigated even further, creating a safer, healthier fuel source.

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