Energy and Pollution Prevention
Table of Contents
Using energy, (e.g. turning on a light) seems harmless enough. However, producing that energy requires resources and contributes to air and water pollution. Each day your local power plant will commonly burn coal oil or natural gas in order to generate electricity for your energy needs. While burning these fossil fuels produces a readily available and instantaneous supply of electricity, it also generates air pollutants including carbon dioxide (CO2), Sulfur Dioxide and Trioxide (SOx) and Nitrogen Oxides (NOx).
In addition to these major air pollutants, burning fossil fuels for electricity generation also releases "trace metals" such as beryllium, cadmium, chromium, copper, manganese, mercury, nickel, and silver into the environment every day.
Strip mining, acid mine drainage, natural gas leaks, oil spills, boiler ash, and nuclear fuel waste are all also by-products of electricity generation. What about those expensive scrubbers that electric companies install on their plants to reduce air emissions? Scrubber equipment produces trainloads of scrubber waste every that must be disposed of on land where it threatens water resources, simply moving the problem from one place in the environment to another.
Should you feel guilty every time you turn on your lights? The answer is No. There are many ways to reduce pollution from energy generation, the first and most important being energy efficiency. Whether you are a large business or a residential customer, you can take simple steps to reduce electrical consumption lower your costs as well.
There are also many clean, non-polluting, and renewable ways to produce energy, such as solar, wind, and geothermal to name a few.
The Ohio EPA, Office of Pollution Prevention (OPP) actively supports energy efficiency and renewable energy.
Renewable Energy - Sources of energy, such as solar, wind, geothermal, and biomass that provide long-term sustainable solutions for the world's energy needs with minimal impacts on the environment.
Energy Efficiency - Making existing applications that use energy (from any source - coal, natural gas, renewable, etc.) more efficient.
Links for the Energy & Environment Connection
Energy Related Newsletters
Energy Information Outside of Ohio EPA