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A potent toxin, mercury is especially dangerous to children and developing fetuses. According to the EPA in 2021, “The most common way people in the U.S. are exposed to mercury is by eating fish containing methylmercury.” Furthermore, EPA stated in 2021, “Power plants are currently the dominant emitters of mercury, acid gases and many toxic metals in the U.S.”

Miller Steam Plant, on the Locust Fork of the Black Warrior, emitted more mercury in 2007 than any other coal-burning power plant in the country, according to EPA data compiled by the Environmental Integrity Project. For more information about mercury from the EPA, click here.

Because of contamination by mercury and/or other pollutants are some waterbodies where the Alabama Department of Public Health advises that fish be consumed on a limited basis, or not at all. Alabama Fish Consumption Advisories are available online. For the latest (2021) advisory, click here. Since not all fishermen in Alabama know about fish consumption advisories and this website, Coosa Riverkeeper developed FISH GUIDE, a user-friendly program to make advisories accessible to all who fish in Alabama:

fishing miller steam plantCitizen fishing on Village Creek near Alabama Power’s  Miller Steam Plant (Jefferson Co.)
Photo by David Whiteside.


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