First-Ever Mercury and Air Toxics Safeguards Will Save Lives

Media Contacts
Jessica O'Hare

Environment New Hampshire

Washington, D.C. –  First-ever public health safeguards aimed at curbing emissions of mercury and other toxic pollutants from dirty power plants will save lives and protect kids, say leading national environmental and public health groups.  

The Environmental Protection Agency today announced first-ever reduction standards for power plant emissions that will significantly cut emissions of mercury, arsenic, acid gases and other toxics from power plants. 

The groups issued the following statement:

“With these common sense safeguards, President Obama and the Environmental Protection Agency have taken a bold and important step to protect kids, wildlife and public health from dangerous air pollution caused by power plant emissions of mercury, arsenic, acid gases and other toxics.  Even in small amounts these pollutants are linked to cancer, heart disease, neurological damage, birth defects, asthma attacks and premature death.

“The Mercury and Air Toxics rule announced today will provide strong public health protections that each year could prevent 4,700 heart attacks and 130,000 asthma attacks among children – and save 11,000 lives.  In addition to protecting kids and saving lives, updating older power plants with new air pollution control technology will support 46,000 new short-term construction jobs and 8,000 new long-term jobs at power plants. These new toxic pollution safeguards are a booster shot for the health of our kids, wildlife, communities and economy.

“President Obama deserves our thanks for standing up to the polluters and standing up for our kids.  Less toxic pollution, safer kids, healthier communities and more jobs are things we all can support.” 

Environment America
National Wildlife Federation
Natural Resources Defense Council
Sierra Club
League of Women Voters of the United States
League of Conservation Voters
Environmental Defense Fund