U.S. Signs International Mercury Treaty

The smoke stacks at American Electric Power's (AEP) Mountaineer coal power plant in New Haven, West Virginia, October 30, 2009. In cooperation with AEP, the French company Alstom unveiled the world's largest carbon capture facility at a coal plant, so called 'clean coal,' which will store around 100,000 metric tonnes of carbon dioxide a year 2,1 kilometers (7,200 feet) underground. (National Journal)

A State Department official on Wednesday signed an international treaty to control mercury emissions, The Hill reports.

Kerri-Ann Jones, assistant secretary of State for oceans and international environmental and scientific affairs, signed an agreement making the U.S. a party to the Minamata Convention on Mercury, an international treaty to limit emissions of the chemical element from sources such as coal-fired power plants.

The U.S. was scheduled to join the convention in early October but was prevented from doing so due to the federal government shutdown.