WASHINGTON, D.C.—Today the United States Environmental Protection Agency finalized its rule to limit mercury and other toxic air emissions from industrial sources (also referred to as the “Boiler Maximum Achievable Control Technology (MACT)”). Shelley Vinyard, Toxics Advocate for Environment America issued the following statement in response:
“While this final rule is modest in comparison to the standard proposed last April, we applaud the EPA for its continued commitment to our health and our environment. The rule will improve air quality for every American and save up to 6,500 lives and prevent tens of thousands of asthma attacks, heart attacks, and hospital visits every year.
“Industrial facilities are the second largest source of mercury air pollution in the United States, and spew thousands of pounds of toxic air pollution like mercury into our air every year. Even in small amounts, exposure to mercury is linked to learning disabilities, developmental disorders, and lower IQs in children. The EPA estimates that one in six women of childbearing age has enough mercury in her bloodstream to put her child at risk of mercury’s harmful effects should she become pregnant.
“The EPA’s work for clean air means that we will have healthier families. This long overdue rule is a victory over corporate polluters. While there is still much to do to protect the air we breathe from big polluters and their friends in Congress, this rule will protect our children and future generations from mercury’s harmful effects.”