RELEASE: CAP Action Urges EPA, Public to Act on New Air Toxics Rule
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Washington, D.C.—This week the Center for American Progress Action Fund launched a campaign to urge the Environmental Protection Agency to require steep reductions in mercury, arsenic, and other toxic air pollution from power plants. The EPA proposed a new rule on toxic air pollution on March 16, 2011 and has opened a 60-day public commenting period that ends on July 2. To encourage people to make comments, CAP Action created two new web pages, one in English and one in Spanish, which provide a way for people to send a customizable letter to EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson urging the agency to adopt the new standards.
The EPA’s Mercury and Air Toxics rule would limit for the first time the hazardous pollutants spewing from American coal-fired power plants into our air and water supply. Every year, 772 million pounds of mercury, dioxin, and other cancer-causing chemicals come from their smokestacks.
Taking action on air pollution is important for the health all communities in the United States:
- Adoption of the air toxics rule will prevent approximately 17,000 premature deaths, 120,000 asthma attacks, and 12,000 hospitalizations and emergency room visits every year in 2016, according to the EPA.
- Approximately 159 million Americans live in areas that violate clean air health standards. Asthma rates are higher in places with bad air quality, and though asthma has no known cure it can be controlled by limiting exposure to asthma triggers such as smog and particulate air pollutants.
- Asthma affects the health and productivity of 34 million Americans and results in damages of $19.7 billion a year.
To speak to CAP Action’s experts about this issue, please contact Raúl Arce-Contreras at