October 23, 2009
Virginia Cramer, 804-225-9113
EPA to Set New Rules for Coal Plant Pollution
Will Reduce Mercury, Air Toxics
Washington, DC: The Environmental Protection Agency has agreed to put in place new rules to reduce toxic air pollution from coal and oil power plants by November 2011. Coal-fired power plants are among the largest industrial sources of toxic air pollution, including mercury and soot—both of which present serious health risks to communities.
The agreement comes after years of legal wrangling stemming from a Bush administration attempt to exempt power plants from clean up requirements.
In response Bruce Nilles, Director of the Sierra Club’s Beyond Coal Campaign issued the following statement.
"We look forward to working with EPA as they start to hold coal plants and other big polluters accountable. For far too long the largest polluters, especially coal plants have been let off the hook. It is certainly not asking too much to require that these polluters install adequate pollution controls to protect communities from the mercury, lead, soot and other harmful toxics they emit.
"All 50 states have issued warnings about mercury contamination in fish and EPA estimates that one in six women already has enough mercury in her body to put a baby at risk. With this agreement, the way is cleared to begin lowering these statistics.
"We are pleased to see the return of science and the rule of law to the decision making process. Americans have the know-how and the technology already, now there is the political will to achieve real pollution reductions."