American Lung Association Calls for EPA to Complete Mercury and Air Toxics Rule on Time, Criticizes Comment Extension

Washington, D.C. (June 21, 2011)

Charles D. Connor, American Lung Association President and CEO, issued the following statement in response to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) announcement to extend the public comment period on its proposed Mercury and Air Toxics Rule:

The American Lung Association is deeply troubled by the announcement today by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to extend the comment period for the Power Plant Mercury and Air Toxics standards. The cleanup of toxic air pollution from power plants is 20 years overdue. I stood with EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson in support of these lifesaving standards when this proposal was announced on March 16, 2011. It is most distressing to see EPA accede to pleas from industry lawyers, lobbyists and their allies in Congress calling for additional time, on top of the 111 days already provided, to review and comment on the proposal.

“Last month, I wrote to Administrator Jackson urging her to complete action on this rule by the deadline of November 16, 2011. I am reassured today by Administrator Jackson’s renewed commitment to this deadline. This deadline is vital because the Mercury and Air Toxics Rule, when fully implemented, will prevent an estimated 120,000 asthma attacks and 17,000 premature deaths each year.”

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About the American Lung Association
The American Lung Association is the leading organization working to save lives by improving lung health and preventing lung disease, through research, education and advocacy. The work of the American Lung Association is focused on four strategic imperatives: to defeat lung cancer; to improve the air we breathe; to reduce the burden of lung disease on individuals and their families; and to eliminate tobacco use and tobacco-related diseases.  For more information about the American Lung Association, a holder of the Better Business Bureau Wise Giving Guide Seal, or to support the work it does, call 1-800-LUNGUSA (1-800-586-4872) or visit: www.Lung.org.