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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