From: Bill DiBenedetto, Triple Pundit, More from this Affiliate
Published December 23, 2011 09:48 AM

Historic Mercury Regs from EPA a Boon for Health, the Environment and Jobs

A few small drops of mercury can contaminate a 20-acre lake and the fish that happen to reside there, thanks to coal-fired plant emissions. That’s a major reason why the EPA’s decision to regulate the emissions of mercury, lead and other toxic pollutants from coal- and oil-fired plants is a major victory for the health and environmental welfare of the nation. And please ignore the scare tactics from Big Coal and right-wing politicos about blackouts, job losses and energy security risks as a result of the rules.

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"Congress ordered the EPA to regulate toxic air pollution more than 20 years ago when it passed the Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990," said Rachel Cleetus, senior climate economist at the Union of Concerned Scientists. "The EPA has been regulating most industries up until now, except for the biggest polluters—coal and oil-fired power plants."

"The public health benefits far outweigh the costs," continued Cleetus. "And contrary to the doomsday predictions of industry and their allies in Congress, the lights will stay on."

The EPA’s Mercury and Air Toxics Standards, released on Wednesday are the first national standards to protect American families from power plant emissions of mercury and toxic air pollution such as arsenic, acid gas, nickel, selenium, and cyanide. Power plants are the largest remaining source of those pollutants; they are responsible for one-half of the mercury and more than 75 percent of acid gas emissions in the US. “The standards will slash emissions of these dangerous pollutants by relying on widely available, proven pollution controls that are already in use at more than half of the nation’s coal-fired power plants,” EPA says.

For further information: http://www.triplepundit.com/2011/12/epas-mercury-regs-boon-health-environment-jobs/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+TriplePundit+%28Triple+Pundit%29&utm_content=Google+Reader

Photo: http://www.nrdc.org/health/effects/mercury/sources.asp

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