Sierra Club and Allies Take Action to Defend Landmark Mercury Rule
March 16, 2012
On March 16, sixteen national and state environmental, clean air and public health groups intervened to defend the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) against industry lawsuits aimed at blocking landmark protections to clean up toxic mercury pollution, acid gases and other hazardous air toxics from dirty power plants.
The groups taking action include the American Academy of Pediatrics, American Lung Association, American Nurses Association, American Public Health Association, Chesapeake Bay Foundation, Conservation Law Foundation, Environment America, Environmental Defense Fund, Izaak Walton League of America, Natural Resources Council of Maine, Natural Resources Defense Council, Ohio Environmental Council, PennFuture, Physicians for Social Responsibility, Sierra Club and Waterkeeper Alliance.
Mercury is a potent neurotoxin that threatens the development of prenatal babies and young children. An estimated 400,000 children are born each year with dangerous mercury levels in their blood. The EPA’s protections would cut toxic mercury pollution, acid gases and other air toxics like arsenic, chromium, nickel and selenium from dirty power plants. The vast majority of Americans support this important cleanup of toxic pollution.
On February 16, polluter interest groups like the National Mining Association filed the first lawsuits to block long overdue action to clean up this toxic pollution.
December 21, 2011
In a monumental public health victory, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has rolled out landmark nationwide protections for toxic mercury from dirty power plants.
Mercury is a dangerous brain poison that taints the fish we eat and poses a particular threat to prenatal babies and young children. Exposure in the bloodstreams of pregnant and nursing women can result in birth defects such as learning disabilities, lowered IQ, deafness, blindness and cerebral palsy. Coal-fired power plants are the largest source of mercury pollution in the United States, pumping more than 33 tons of this dangerous toxin into our air and water each year. The new protection, which replaces a weak, court-rejected standard from the Bush Administration, will slash mercury pollution from power plants by more than 90 percent and improve air quality for millions of Americans.
July 25, 2011
On July 19, a broad coalition of health, environmental and social justice organizations, including Sierra Club, delivered more than 639,000 comments to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in Boston, Massachusetts, calling for strong mercury safeguards. These comments, collected from every state in the nation, support the EPA in its efforts to curb dangerous mercury pollution from coal-fired power plants.
Coal-fired power plants are the single largest source of mercury pollution, arsenic and acid gases, and account for 25 percent of all toxic metal emissions in the U.S. Furthermore, coal-fired power plants are responsible for 99 percent of all mercury emissions from the power sector in the nation.
More than 200 organizations have encouraged the EPA to ensure that their proposed mercury safeguards remain strong enough to protect the health of children and mothers. Some of the national organizations who participated were: Alliance for Climate Protection, Democracia, Inc, Environment America, Environment Defense Fund, Greenpeace, Health Care Without Harm, Interfaith Power and Light, League of Women Voters, League of Conservation Voters, National Wildlife Federation, Physicians for Social Responsibility, Sierra Club and U.S. Climate Action Network.
May 23, 2011
This week, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is holding public hearings in Philadelphia, Chicago, and Atlanta on its proposed safeguards against mercury and other toxic air pollutants emitted by coal-fired power plants. Please join Sierra Club at the hearings to let EPA know how important it is to have strong protections against this toxic pollution.
May 3, 2011
On May 3, 2011, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Mercury and Air Toxics Rule was published in the Federal Register. The proposed standards will dramatically reduce toxic air pollution from coal- and oil-fired power plants in the U.S. This action culminates years of Sierra Club litigation, working to implement strong Clean Air Act standards to cut toxic air pollutant emissions from coal-fired power plants – the single largest source of mercury pollution.
The rule is available for public comment until July 5, 2011. Sierra Club will continue to work with experts to ensure that EPA enacts a strong rule, protecting our families and children from toxic industrial pollution.
Details and Documents:
Sierra Club Releases High Saturation TV Ad Celebrating President’s Mercury Protections
December 22, 2011, Sierra Club Press Release
Sierra Club Applauds President Obama for Landmark Mercury Protection
December 21, 2011, Sierra Club Press Release
Mercury and Air Toxics Standards
U.S. EPA web site
Hundreds of Thousands of Letters of Support Delivered to EPA in Boston
July 19, 2011, Sierra Club et al. Press Release
Residents Flood EPA Hearings, Demand Safeguards from Coal Pollution
May 26, 2011, Sierra Club Press Release
National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants From Coal- and Oil-Fired Electric Utility Steam Generating Units, Proposed Rule
May 3, 2011, Federal Register
EPA Proposes Strong Safeguards to Protect Children from Toxic Mercury
March 16, 2011, Sierra Club Press Release
Keep safegaurds to end mercury poisoning
June 20, 2102 by Elle Macpherson, CNN
EPA curb, at last, on coal emissions is welcome
December 24, 2011, San Francisco Chronicle
Missouri, other coal states in crosshairs of EPA mercury rule
December 22, 2011 by Jeffrey Tomich, McClatchy-Tribune
EPA tells nation's dirty power plants to clean up
December 21, 2011 by Dina Cappiello, Associated Press
See other "Stop Polluters" cases.