Boiler, Incinerator and Cement Cleanup will Cut Pollution and Save Lives

Final Standards are Less Protective than Earlier Rules

Statement of the American Lung Association

Washington, D.C. (December 21, 2012)

The American Lung Association is pleased to see today's announcement from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) finalizing a package of long-overdue standards designed to limit mercury and other hazardous air pollutants from industrial boilers, incinerators and cement plants – but disappointed that the standards are less protective than earlier rules proposed by the Agency.

Research shows that toxic air pollution emitted from these sources includes mercury, dioxin, fine particles, acid gases and carbon monoxide which can damage the circulatory, respiratory, nervous, endocrine and other essential life systems. These toxic emissions can even cause cancer, developmental disorders and premature death.

Sadly, EPA weakened both standards compared to initial rules. The industrial boiler and incinerator safeguards finalized today, though weaker, will lower life-threatening pollution.  When fully enforced, EPA says the safeguards could prevent up to 8,100 premature deaths each year, and prevent additional heart attacks, asthma attacks and emergency room visits.

We are most disappointed by the new EPA standard to limit hazardous air pollution from cement plants. EPA had originally set strong standards to limit the second largest source of toxic mercury emissions in the country. Industry pressure resulted in weaker standards and delayed implementation. Public health will continue to suffer unnecessarily because of pollution from cement plants. The American Lung Association will continue to urge EPA to uphold its responsibility as required by the Clean Air Act and clean up air pollution from all sources and protect public health.

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About the American Lung Association
Now in its second century, the American Lung Association is the leading organization working to save lives by improving lung health and preventing lung disease. With your generous support, the American Lung Association is “Fighting for Air” through research, education and advocacy. 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-LUNG-USA (1-800-586-4872) or visit www.lung.org.