Each year, America’s coal-fired plants spew hundreds of thousands of tons of mercury, arsenic, acid gases and other toxic chemicals which pose significant health risks to us all.
Even in small amounts these extremely harmful air pollutants are linked to significant health problems such as cancer, heart disease, neurological damage, birth defects, asthma attacks and even premature death.
Thankfully, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently proposed the first ever limit on harmful mercury and other toxic air emissions from coal-fired plants.
By requiring power plants to install widely available, proven pollution control technologies, the EPA’s new rule would significantly limit harmful pollutants protecting our health, our children, our environment, and even stimulate our economy.
Polluters are fighting this rule and the EPA needs your help! The time for public comments ends August 5, 2011- help us reach record numbers of comments in support of this rule by then!
Help protect America’s health, wildlife, and economy by telling the Environmental Protection Agency you support strong limits on mercury and other toxic air emissions. Take Action today and send your comments to EPA!
(Photo © Flickr user mrjor (Joey Rozier), used with Creative Commons Liscense)
Coal-fired power plants are the single largest source of mercury contamination in the U.S, amounting to about 50 percent of emissions affecting humans and wildlife. The pollution settles on lakes, rivers and forests where it exposes fish and other wildlife and makes its way into the food chain. In many places, mercury warnings are increasingly common.
These pollutants pose very significant health threats to every American. Even in small amounts they can cause significant health risks such as cancer, heart disease, neurological damage, birth defects, asthma attacks and even premature death.
Put simply, the new standard will save lives and protect millions of Americans from preventable disease. And the economic benefits are likely to outweigh the costs by up to 13:1, resulting in total health and economic benefits of an estimated $140 billion annually.
We've waited more than 20 years for these new standards, and it's time power plants reduce their dangerous emissions by simply implementing widely available, proven pollution control technologies.
I urge you to move forward and finalize strong Mercury and Air Toxics standards. These pollution limits will be one of the largest steps forward in protecting our nation from toxic air pollution in a generation.