New data reveals decline in toxic emissions from US power plants

The fall in emissions are primarily due to changes in the mix of fuels used in electricity generation, with data revealing a 19% fall in coal generation and an increase in natural gas and renewable production

The US has seen a decline in levels of certain toxic air pollutants from power plants since 2019.

That’s according to latest statistics from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), which reveals a reduction in emissions of nitrogen oxides (NOx), sulphur dioxide (SO2), carbon dioxide (CO2) and mercury from power plants in the lower 48 states.

The 2020 data shows a 19% fall in SO2 emissions compared to 2019, a 16% decline in NOx emissions, an 11% fall in CO2 emissions and a 17% decrease in mercury emissions.

In addition, ozone season – 1st May to 30th September – NOx emissions dropped by 10%.

Overall, electricity demand in 2020 fell by more than 3% compared to 2019, based on the first 11 months of the year.

The EPA suggests long term decline in emissions are primarily due to changes in the mix of fuels used in electricity generation, with data revealing a 19% fall in coal generation and an increase in natural gas and renewable production, resulting in significant emissions decreases overall.

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