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EPA Issues “Necessary and Appropriate” Finding to Support Mercury and Air Toxics Regulations
This week, the Environmental Protection Agency issued a proposed finding that it is “necessary and appropriate” for the agency to regulate mercury and air toxic emissions from coal and oil-fired power plants. The proposed EPA finding seeks to overturn a finding issued by the Trump Administration that the Agency did not have justification to regulate mercury and hazardous air toxic emissions from the power plants. The Trump Administration decision leaves currently implemented mercury and air toxics rule vulnerable to court challenges.


The mercury air toxics rule has been fully implemented and according to EPA, has reduced mercury emissions from 29 tons in 2010 to 2.6 tons in 2020 – a 91 percent reduction.


Once finalized, the new “appropriate and necessary” finding will both secure the benefits of the currently implemented mercury and air toxics regulation and will create a regulatory pathway for the EPA to seek further reductions in mercury and hazardous air emissions if the agency thinks that is needed and technically feasible.


The ATS supports the recent appropriate and necessary finding justifying EPA regulation of mercury and air toxics emissions and urges the Agency to quickly finalize the proposed finding.

Last Reviewed: February 2022