Over 600,000 Americans Back Mercury Pollution Safeguards

Comments support EPA's efforts to curb dangerous mercury pollution from coal-fired power plants


The National Wildlife Federation joined with a coalition of public health, faith, and conservation groups today to deliver more than 617,000 letters from Americans supporting strong mercury safeguards to the Environmental Protection Agency Region One office in Boston. These comments, collected from every state in the nation, support the EPA in their efforts to curb dangerous mercury pollution from coal-fired power plants. A coalition of more than 200 health, environmental and social justice organizations worked together to make this impressive show of support possible.

"This tremendous response signals that Americans know how important it is to cut down on mercury, arsenic and other dangerous pollutants in the air we breathe," said Curt Spalding, regional administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Region 1 office in Boston. "Not only will these safeguards prevent thousands of premature deaths and cases of asthma and other illnesses, they will level the playing field for power plants already using widely available clean technology. We're relying on the continued input of New Englanders, and all Americans, to help us make these vital safeguards a reality."

Coal-fired power plants are the single largest source of mercury pollution, arsenic and acid gases, and account for 25 percent of all toxic metal emissions in the United States. Furthermore, coal-fired power plants are responsible for 99 percent of all mercury emissions from the power sector in the United States.

"EPA must move forward and finalize a strong mercury and air toxics rule to protect public health, natural resources, and treasured wildlife from toxic pollution," said Carol Oldham, the National Wildlife Federation’s Northeast regional outreach coordinator.  "It’s long past time for these facilities to be held responsible and accountable for their preventable toxic emissions."

Read the full article at www.nwf.org/news.

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