December 21, 2011 — Maine health and environment groups are applauding new safeguards that will protect kids and families from dangerous air pollution from mercury and other toxic chemicals that flow here from dirty power plants.
The Environmental Protection Agency today announced new standards for power plant emissions that will significantly cut emissions of mercury, arsenic, acid gases and other toxics from power plants.
Here in Maine that rule is particularly important: Maine’s location downwind from coal-burning power plants to the south and west, has caused the state to be dubbed “the nations tailpipe.”
Lisa Pohlmann, executive director of the Natural Resources Council of Maine and Karen D’Andrea, executive director of Maine Physicians for Social Responsibility, issued the following statement:
“The Environmental Protection Agency just released important new safeguards that will help protect Maine people, wildlife, waters and our environment from harmful air pollution from power plant emissions of mercury, arsenic, dioxin and other toxics.
“Even in small amounts these pollutants are linked to cancer, heart disease, neurological damage, birth defects, asthma attacks and premature death.
“Clean air standards like the mercury rule provide strong health protections that each year could prevent 4,700 heart attacks and 130,000 asthma attacks among children — and save 11,000 lives. But, the power plant industry opposes these common sense protections and is spending millions of dollars to block them.
“President Obama deserves our thanks for standing up to the polluters and standing up for our kids. Less mercury and arsenic in our air is a good thing.”
“We urge Maine Senators Snowe and Collins to support this protective Mercury and Air Toxics rule and to protect the health of Maine families by voting against all efforts to delay air pollution rules.”