Trump Administration Unveils “Immoral and Unnecessary” Attack on Mercury Standards

Statement of EDF President Fred Krupp – December 28, 2018

December 28, 2018
Sharyn Stein, 202-572-3396,

“In a move that’s both stunningly immoral and completely unnecessary, the Trump administration has formally proposed an attack on our nation’s vital protections against some of the most dangerous types of air pollution from coal plants.

“Trump’s EPA unveiled a proposal today that undermines the foundations of the Mercury and Air Toxics Standards – the safeguards that are successfully reducing poisonous coal plant pollutants, including mercury, lead, arsenic, and acid gases, in the air we breathe and the food we eat. Mercury and lead cause brain damage in babies. Other pollutants covered by the standards cause cancer. EPA’s own analysis shows the standards save up to 11,000 American lives each year. But EPA Acting Administrator Andrew Wheeler is attacking the foundational building blocks for these critical protections.

“Wheeler is doing this in spite of the fact that almost no one wants it done. The power sector is already in compliance with the standards – which have already proven successful, and have reduced mercury pollution from power plants by more than 80 percent since they were finalized. Power sector leaders, labor leaders, the Chamber of Commerce, Members of Congress from both parties, health experts and many other Americans have all asked the Trump administration to leave the Mercury and Air Toxics Standards in place. In spite of that overwhelming opposition, and in spite of all common sense, Wheeler is plowing ahead.

“Trump’s EPA claims they aren’t undermining the Mercury and Air Toxics Standards themselves, they’re just reconsidering the basis for them. No one can truthfully claim they are demolishing the foundation of a building but they still expect the building to stand. This proposal puts the Mercury and Air Toxics Standards in danger, and we need the Mercury and Air Toxics Standards to keep our children safe.

“For reasons beyond comprehension, the Trump administration has made it a New Year’s resolution to put more mercury pollution in our air. At EDF, our New Year’s resolution is to stop them. We will do everything in our power to fight for the Mercury and Air Toxics Standards, and for the health and safety of our children.”

            - Fred Krupp, president of Environmental Defense Fund

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