MA Oil-Fired Power Plants Still Emitting Mercury26 Jul


SBIR Consultant – Market Analysis: There are many issues of importance to be stressed in writing a competitive SBIR proposal. One of these is market analysis: urgent need for your innovation, your competition, showstopper issues, cost, and policy/legal impediments. The blog below is an example of a snapshot market analysis where oil-fired power plants still hold an entrenched position in Massachusetts and will probably not give way any time soon for large-scale solar or wind technologies as replacement power sources. Does your innovation face this type of problem?

Massachusetts oil-fired power plants are still emitting mercury that is a serious health hazard. Here is the story that the general public probably does not know about inadequate emission regulations.

According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), “Burning oil at power plants produces nitrogen oxides, sulfur dioxide, carbon dioxide, methane, and mercury compounds. The amount of sulfur dioxide and mercury compounds can vary greatly depending on the sulfur and mercury content of the oil that is burned.”

The National Resources Defense Council (NRDC)* noted, “Exposure to mercury, even in small amounts, is a great danger to humans and wildlife. When mercury enters the body it acts as a neurotoxin, which means it harms our brain and nervous system. Mercury exposure is especially dangerous to pregnant women and young children, but all adults are at risk for serious medical problems.”

As of December 2011, the EPA announced mercury emissions standards for power plants with a capacity of 25MW or greater.

Massachusetts has 23 oil-fired power plants  where 16 of them have a capacity less than 25MW (i.e., 70 percent of them are not subject to the EPA rule on mercury emissions)!

* National Resources Defense Council, April 2012

Tags: , , ,

Leave a Reply

Time limit is exhausted. Please reload the CAPTCHA.

About Dr. Everson

Prior to forming this SBIR consultant practice, Dr. Jeffrey Everson was director of business development for QinetiQ North America’s Technology Solutions Group (previously Foster-Miller, Inc.).

Dr. Everson has won and been the principal investigator for several SBIR programs, including a Phase I program for NASA, a Phase I project for the U.S. Air Force, and Phase I and II contracts from the U.S. Department of Transportation. For the Phase II program, he received a Tibbetts Award for exemplifying the best in SBIR achievement.

Previously Dr. Everson held senior scientist positions at Battelle Memorial Institute, The Analytic Sciences Corporation (TASC), Honeywell Electro Optics Systems Division, and Itek Optical Systems Division.

He holds a PhD in physics from Boston College and a MS/BS in physics from Northeastern University.


For more information about how JHEverson Consulting can help your company with its SBIR and STTR proposals, please contact Jeff Everson.

JHEverson Consulting is based in the Boston area but consults for clients throughout North America. It also is supported by affiliated consultants.