"American Lung Association: We must clean up coal-fired power plants and close the ‘Toxic Loophole’"
In a new report out today, Toxic Air: the Case for Cleaning Up Coal-Fired Power Plants, the American Lung Association finds that significant action now is needed to protect our public health. The EPA needs to be allowed to do its job to safeguard us from the dangerous pollution from these plants. CAP’s Susan Lyon has the story.
With a new proposal due from the EPA on March 16 on power plant toxics, this report makes the case that EPA needs to proceed to better protect our health. This report also comes just as the EPA is being attacked by the right and in a science-denying Congress, whose goal is to remove or lessen its rulemaking authority.
Our kids are being exposed to 386,000 tons of 84 dangerous pollutants currently ‘uncontrolled’ as they spew from power plants, with known deleterious effects. These include:
- Arsenic, lead, and other toxic metals;
- Formaldehyde and other chemicals known or thought to cause cancer, including benzene and radioisotopes;
- Acid gases such as hydrogen chloride;
- Radioactive materials, like radium and uranium.
We are currently heavily reliant on coal-fired power plants to produce electricity for our nation’s grid, but dangerous air pollution is yet another reason to work towards reducing our reliance on dirty fossil fuels.
- Coal-fired power plants produce more hazardous air pollution in the United States than any other industrial pollution sources;
- The Clean Air Act requires the control of hazardous air pollutants from coal-fired power plants, but absent new rules, no national standards exist to limit these pollutants from these plants; and
Charles D. Connor, President and CEO of ALA, urges that we cannot wait any longer to act:
It’s time that we end the ‘toxic loophole’ that has allowed coal-burning power plants to operate without any federal limits on emissions of mercury, arsenic, dioxin, acid gases such as hydrogen chloride and other dangerous pollutants. The American public has waited long enough””more than two decades. We are counting on EPA to protect all Americans from the health risks imposed by these dangerous pollutants once and for all.
Learn more at www.lungUSA.org:
- Toxic Air: The Case for Cleaning Up Coal-fired Power Plants
- Take Action to Clean Up Coal-fired Power Plants
- Full Report: Emissions of Hazardous Air Pollutants from Coal-Fired Power Plants
- Supplemental Table: Electric Generating Utility Coal-fired Power Plants in the U.S.
- Video of a coal-fired power plant
- National Press Release
- American Lung Association advertisement