Lung Association Applauds U.S. Court of Appeals DC Circuit Decision to Uphold Life-Saving Mercury and Air Toxics Standards

Statement of the American Lung Association

Washington, D.C. (April 15, 2014)

In response to the decision released today by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit to uphold the Mercury and Air Toxics Standards for Power Plants – a major clean air safeguard that would reduce the harm from hazardous air pollutants including mercury, lead, arsenic and acid gases – the American Lung Association (an intervener in the case) released the following statement:

“We applaud the U.S. Court of Appeals D.C. Circuit decision to uphold these landmark clean air standards that Congress intended the American people to have over 20 years ago. These standards will reduce toxic emissions from coal- and oil-fired power plants in more than 40 states. Thanks to these safeguards, the largest producers of mercury pollution will finally have to clean up that toxic emission and scores of others.  These standards will help protect the health of all Americans, especially our children, from the health risks imposed by dangerous air pollutants.

“Toxic air pollution from power plants can make people sick and cut lives short. The air pollution emitted by coal-fired power plants contains 84 of the 187 hazardous pollutants identified for control by the Clean Air Act. Many of these pollutants, such as dioxins, arsenic, and lead, can cause cancer and cardiovascular disease, harm the kidneys, lungs and nervous system, and even kill. The Mercury and Air Toxics Standards will reduce these pollutants and prevent 130,000 childhood asthma attacks and 11,000 premature deaths each year.

“The American Lung Association applauds the U.S. Court of Appeals D.C. Circuit for making the right decision and rejecting the latest of many challenges by big polluters to this critical clean air protection.  We hope that the industry will now move forward to implement these lifesaving standards and halt efforts to block these protections.”  


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: