Clean Air: Help the EPA Limit Toxic Pollution From Power Plants

All people deserve to have clean air. All people deserve to be able to expect that the air they breathe, the air their growing children breathe, will not cause harm. This is becoming increasingly more difficult to expect.

Coal Power Plant by  Bruno D Rodrigues

The Natural Resources Defense Council just released a new study listing the most polluted states by toxic air emissions. The Top “Toxic 20” States with Most Toxic Air Pollution from Coal Power Plants: OH, PA, FL, KY, MD, IN, MI, WV, GA, NC, SC, AL, TX, VA, TN, MO, IL, WI, NH, IA.... Is your state listed? 

The key findings showed that nearly half of all the toxic air pollution reported from industrial sources in the United States comes from coal- and oil-fired power plants. Power plants are the single largest industrial source of toxic air pollution in 28 states and the District of Columbia.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and organizations/individuals like the Physicians for Social Responsibility, American Lung Association, NRDC, NAACP, and 40 years of scientific research around the country have definitively shown the irreprable harm that these power plants can cause:

  • Adverse health impact on infant's and children's developing brains: memory, attention, language, and fine motor skills, hearing, and vision.
  • Links to higher risk and rates of autism.
  • Cancer.
  • Heart Attacks.
  • Bronchitis.
  • Asthma.
  • Environmental damage: air, lakes, streams, and fish.

Thousands of people are dying every year from toxic air pollution from power plants.

The EPA has proposed the "Mercury and Air Toxics Standards (MATS) for power plants" which would limit mercury, acid gases and other toxic pollution from power plants. Unfortunately, this action is not being supported by all members of Congress.

The EPA estimates that the requirements of the pending “Mercury and Air Toxics” standard would save as many as 17,000 lives every year by 2015 and prevent up to 120,000 cases of childhood asthma symptoms; avoid more than 12,000 emergency room and hospital visits and prevent 850,000 lost work days every year. 

These standards are expected to be finalized in November. The EPA is taking public comments on its proposal until Aug. 4, 2011.

Read the Proposed Rule.

Submit your comment.

Help the EPA do what's right.

(photo credit: Bruno D Rodrigues via flickr)

Written by Brenna Burke. Find me blogging about green living and green parenting at Almost All The Truth. Connect with me on Facebook or twitter.

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