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EPA Proposes Mercury and Air Toxic Pollution Reductions from Coal-Fired Power Plants
Last week, the Environmental Protection Agency released proposed rules to significantly reduce mercury and other toxic emissions from coal-fired power plants. The proposed rule builds on the initial mercury and air toxics rule issued in 2012. The proposed rule will reduce emissions or mercury by 70 percent from coal plants that use lignite – a form of coal with unusually high mercery content – and the rule also seeks to reduce particulate matter emissions from coal plants by 67 percent. In addition to emissions reductions, the proposed rule will also increase monitoring and reporting requirements to better inform local communities of the emissions from coal-fired power plants. 

“EPA’s action on regulating mercury air toxics is taking important and essential steps necessary to achieving safer air quality for all, “notes ATS Environmental Health Policy Committee member Gillian Goobie MD.  “We particularly want to highlight the positive impact these steps by EPA will have in minoritized and low-income communities, thus making significant strides towards EPA and ATS’s mutual goal of achieving environmental justice.”
Last Reviewed: June 2023