On Tuesday, May 24th, Law Center attorney Adam Cutler testified before the EPA in support of the proposed Mercury and Air Toxics Rule, which would for the first time impose national limits on emissions of mercury, arsenic, lead, acid gases, and hazardous air pollutants from coal- and oil-burning power plants.
Coal-fired power plants are not randomly distributed, but clustered near African-American and low-income populations, such as Law Center client communities in Chester and Eddystone.
“Once the Rule is finalized,” Cutler testified, “these dirty facilities can no longer profit on the backs – and hearts, and lungs, and developing brains – of our most vulnerable populations.”
The projected health benefits of the rule, which will cut mercury and acid gas by over 90%, are staggering: the EPA estimates that in each year after implementation the rule will prevent as many as 17,000 premature deaths, 11,000 heart attacks, 120,000 asthma attacks, 12,000 hospital and emergency room visits, and 5 million restricted activity days.
The Law Center calls on the EPA to quickly finalize the rule and to enforce it vigorously.