In response to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) proposal on the Mercury and Air Toxics Standards (MATS), a public health safeguard adopted in 2011 to limit mercury, arsenic, acid gases and other toxic air pollutants from existing coal and oil-fired power plants, American Lung Association National President and CEO Harold P. Wimmer issued the following statement:
"There is no legitimate justification for this action. The Mercury and Air Toxics Standards are most appropriate and certainly necessary. EPA's proposal to undermine the Mercury and Air Toxics Standards is one of its most dangerous efforts yet. The MATS are already fully implemented, with significant health benefits including preventing up to 11,000 premature deaths each year and a dramatic reduction of mercury pollution, a potent neurotoxin that causes brain damage in babies.
"Additionally, the MATS have been extremely effective in limiting emissions of known carcinogens such as arsenic, chromium and nickel, as well as toxic acid gases that form particle pollution, which causes asthma attacks, heart attacks and premature death.
"The American Lung Association strongly opposes this effort to undermine these lifesaving and successful limits on toxic pollution from power plants. Lives, children's health and their futures depend on it."
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 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, a holder of the coveted 4-star rating from Charity Navigator and a Gold-Level GuideStar Member, or to support the work it does, call 1-800-LUNGUSA (1-800-586-4872) or visit: Lung.org.