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Ohio River commission allows variance

Oct. 11, 2012 @ 11:35 AM

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — The Ohio River Valley Water Sanitation Commission has approved a variance that allows a West Virginia chlorine manufacturing plant to continue discharging mercury.

The Courier-Journal reports that the commission made the decision Thursday while meeting in Louisville.

At issue was whether the company could continue using “mixing zones,” which allow industries to meet pollution limits after river water has diluted effluent.

PPG Industries said it could not meet a 90 percent reduction in the amount of mercury it discharges without a mixing zone and asked the commission to allow a variance.

Records from the federal Environmental Protection Agency show that the plant has decreased the amount of mercury that it discharges. In 2010, it discharged 17 pounds of mercury, compared to 32 pounds in 2004.

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