Last week, the American Lung Association joined 14 national health, medical and nursing organizations in submitting comments to urge the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to strengthen and then finalize its proposal for tighter limits on emissions of mercury and other air toxics from power plants.
The Lung Association also delivered comments from 700 members of the public – including almost 200 health professionals – in support of the proposed National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants: Coal- and Oil-Fired Electric Utility Steam Generating Units Review of the Residual Risk and Technology Review.
“Mercury is a potent bioaccumulating neurotoxin that can cause severe developmental harm. In addition, other hazardous pollutants released alongside mercury at power plants threaten the health of everyone living nearby. The proposal is an important step forward to reduce pollution from coal and oil-fired power plants. We need EPA to act quickly to finalize the more stringent options in the proposal to ensure clean and healthy air for all, especially for communities living in close proximity to power plants,” said Harold Wimmer, National President and CEO of the American Lung Association.
“Work to clean up coal- and oil-fired power plant emissions under the Mercury and Air Toxics Standards has been a big success and received bipartisan support. These lifesaving standards have cut toxic air pollution from power plants dramatically and Americans – particularly babies – are much healthier as a result,” Wimmer added. “However, power plants do still emit dangerous air toxics with serious health implications, and EPA’s data shows that these emissions are on the rise. There is still more work to do to clean up dangerous pollution from power plants.”
The American Lung Association is the leading organization working to save lives by improving lung health and preventing lung disease through education, advocacy and research. The work of the American Lung Association is focused on four strategic imperatives: to defeat lung cancer; to champion clean air for all; to improve the quality of life for those with lung disease and their families; and to create a tobacco-free future. For more information about the American Lung Association, which has a 4-star rating from Charity Navigator and is a Platinum-Level GuideStar Member, call 1-800-LUNGUSA (1-800-586-4872) or visit: Lung.org. To support the work of the American Lung Association, find a local event at Lung.org/events.