EPA Proposes Standards for Mercury Pollution

03/17/2011 |

New standards for mercury pollution may finally be in place after more than 20 years.

The EPA has responded to a court deadline, and proposed the first-ever national standards for mercury, arsenic, and other toxic air pollution from power plants.  

These standards will eliminate 20 years of uncertainty from the industry, and take will require numerous power plants to cut emissions of harmful toxins and install proven pollution control technologies.

The new proposed standards are expected to confer a wealth of health benefits, preventing 17,000 premature deaths and 11,000 heart attacks a year, along with 12,000 fewer emergency room visits  and 850,000 work days missed annually .

The standard will provide a boost to the job sector as well, creating 31,000 construction short-term jobs and 9,000 long-term utility jobs.

“Today’s announcement is 20 years in the making, and is a significant milestone in the Clean Air Act’s already unprecedented record of ensuring our children are protected from the damaging effects of toxic air pollution,”  said EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson. “With the help of existing technologies, we will be able to take reasonable steps that will provide dramatic protections to our children and loved ones, preventing premature deaths, heart attacks, and asthma attacks.”

For more information, please visit www.epa.gov/airquality/powerplanttoxics/

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