From WILL - News Headlines -

Ill. Environmental Group Applauds Ruling on Mercury Restrictions

An environmental group in Illinois says it's happy that the federal government is following Illinois' lead in requiring power plants to cut down on mercury levels.

On Wednesday, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced that it would force hundreds of the nation's power plants to control mercury and other toxic pollutants.

Max Muller with Environment Illinois said the state passed its own mercury restrictions in 2006, and they have proven to be successful.

"We've shown that in Illinois that mercury can be reduced cheaply, that the lights aren't going to go out, and it does in fact yield very good results in terms of decreasing mercury pollution on the environment that harms health," Muller said.

Muller said the new federal standards are expected to cut toxic mercury pollution from power plants by more than 90 percent.

But the American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity has come out against the plan, saying it will destroy jobs and raise energy rates.