The presentation describes increasing impacts of mercury on soil and water bodies as well as resulting increase of methylmercury concentrations in predatory fish.
Reasons for worldwide mercury impacts are described and high contribution of coal power plants is underlined. Subsequently, detailed figures are given regarding mercury emissions from coal power plants in Germany (in total about 7 tons each year constantly in the past 20 years).
By showing mercury concentrations from coal power plants, the current performance level in German lignite and hard coal power plants is described. Explanations regarding monitoring requirements are given.
Afterwards, mercury emission limit values of coal power plants are presented and compared with requirements in Germany and the European Union.
Finally, worldwide efforts for mercury emission reduction are mentioned, demonstrated by the agreement on the "Minamata Convention", signed in 2013 by 128 Governments. In the context of the Convention, guidance documents on "best available techniques and best environmental practices" are developed by a worldwide working group led by the United Nations Environmental Program (UNEP). They describe mercury control techniques for coal power plants as well as for cement plants, waste incinerators and non-ferrous metal smelters (gold, led, zinc production).