Mercury and Air Toxics Standards Published Today

It’s official!

The historic Mercury and Air Toxics Standards for power plants were published in the Federal Register.

That means the official, final rule is now available to the public for the first time. It also means we’ve taken another crucial step towards putting these lifesaving standards into effect.

Mercury is a dangerous neurotoxin that damages the brains of young children and developing fetuses. The Mercury and Air Toxics Standards will limit the levels of mercury and other toxic pollution in our air.

These limits are required under the 1990 Clean Air Act Amendments. They have already been delayed for more than twenty years – but now, finally, we’re moving ahead toward a cleaner and healthier future.

This Mercury and Air Toxics Standards rule will:

  • Save up to 11,000  lives every year
  • Prevent 90% of the toxic mercury in the coal that’s burned by power plants from being emitted into our air
  • Level the playing field for coal and oil-fired power plants that have already updated their facilities with made-in-America, cost-effective technology
  • Create tens of thousands of jobs for the Americans who will build, install, and operate the pollution controls

Companies will have three years to comply with the rule. A fourth year will be broadly available to companies needing more time to install pollution controls — and even more time can be arranged beyond that, if needed to maintain electric reliability.

This is an historic win for public health, the environment, and the economy.

Unfortunately, however, we already know there will be some opponents who choose to invest their money in dismantling the rule through the courts or through Congress — instead of investing in life-saving technologies to reduce toxic emissions.

Letting that happen would be bad for all of us.

 At EDF, we plan to work vigorously to defend this rule in Congress and the courts over the coming years. I hope you’ll all join us.

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One Comment

  1. Posted February 16, 2012 at 11:35 pm | Permalink