December 21, 2011

Whitehouse Applauds New EPA Standards for Power Plant Mercury Pollution

Providence, RI – U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) today praised the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) announcement of new Mercury and Air Toxics Standards, the first-ever national standards to curb emissions of mercury and other toxic air pollution from coal-fired power plants, which cause particular harm to children and infants.  These standards are projected to prevent up to 11,000 premature deaths each year and reduce cases of asthma and acute bronchitis among children.

“Today, the EPA has taken an important step to protect public health, particularly the health of children,” said Whitehouse.  “After years of Rhode Island receiving pollution from out-of-state power plants, the largest sources of toxic air pollution will finally be required to reduce emissions of these dangerous chemicals.  I applaud our local utility, National Grid, for its support of these new clean air protections.”

Whitehouse has fought to reduce the impact of uncontrolled and undercontrolled pollution from power plants.  Last week, Whitehouse organized a letter, signed by 16 Senators, urging the Obama Administration to finalize the Mercury and Air Toxics Standards.  He has spoken out in favor of clean air standards many times in the Senate, and last year requested that the Government Accountability Office complete a report about the contribution of tall smoke stacks to East Coast air pollution.  As Rhode Island’s Attorney General, Whitehouse joined the EPA’s lawsuit against American Electric Power for modifying 16 plants without installing required air pollution controls.


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