With the Obama administration required to put its plan for reducing toxic air pollution from coal-fired power plants on the table a week from today, the American Lung Association and other public health groups have started an early push to explain why U.S. EPA shouldn’t flinch on the long-delayed rules.
EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson is under a legal deadline to release a proposal by March 16 and finalize it by November. Environmentalists and public health groups are pushing her to make the rules far stricter than the George W. Bush administration’s Clean Air Mercury Rule, a cap-and-trade program that aimed to cut mercury pollution by about 70 percent but did not place limits on other types of toxic emissions.
According to a report (pdf) released yesterday by the Lung Association, the technology needed to control all of the toxic pollutants is already in wide use, and in most cases, it cuts emissions by more than 90 percent. Currently, the power sector produces about 40 percent of U.S. mercury emissions and 76 percent of acid gases, the report says. (Greenwire)