EDF Testifies For EPA’s Mercury And Air Toxics Rule

New Protection Will Clean Air And Save Lives

May 24, 2011
Contact: 

NEWS RELEASE

Contact:
Tony Kreindler, 202-445-8108, tkreindler@edf.org

(Washington, D.C. – May 24, 2011) The Environmental Protection Agency will hold public hearings in Chicago, Philadelphia and Atlanta this week on the agency's proposed Mercury and Air Toxics rule. This long overdue health and environmental protection will reduce air toxics from power plants, including mercury – a potent neurotoxin – arsenic, dioxin and acid gases.

Environmental Defense Fund will be testifying at all three hearings on behalf of its members. More than 400,000 newborns are affected by mercury pollution each year. Coal-fired power plants emit 72% of all toxic mercury air pollution in the United States and 386,000 tons of other hazardous air pollution, endangering families across the country.

EPA's new Mercury and Air Toxics (MACT) Rule will prevent up to 17,000 premature deaths per year when it is in effect.

Support for the new MACT rule is more important than ever. While a number of utilities, like Exelon and Constellation have invested in technology and jobs to clean up toxic air pollutants like the ones this rule addresses, other utilities like American Electric Power (AEP) are lobbying Congress to delay these long overdue clean air standards. 

That is why EDF along with Natural Resources Defense Council and Sierra Club have started the "What's Your Number Campaign." The campaign challenges AEP to publicly state the number of lives it wants Congress to sacrifice to give AEP and other polluters delays and rollbacks of national limits on toxic air pollution.

"17,000 lives a year cannot afford to wait for utilities like AEP to finally clean up," said Mark MacLeod of Environmental Defense Fund. "These new protections mean lives saved, cleaner air and a stronger economy."

You can download the EDF's testimony from the hearings below: