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E&C Leaders Denounce Trump Administration’s Action Undermining Mercury and Other Hazardous Air Pollutants Protections

Apr 16, 2020
Press Release

Energy and Commerce Chairman Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-NJ), Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee Chair Diana DeGette (D-CO) and Environment and Climate Change Subcommittee Chairman Paul Tonko (D-NY) issued the following statement today after the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced it is not “appropriate and necessary” to regulate hazardous air pollutants such as mercury from coal- and oil-fired power plants – reversing a 2016 EPA determination: 

“The Trump Administration’s action today is a public health disaster in the making.   Rolling back the hugely successful Mercury and Air Toxics Standards (MATS) not only risks increased levels of toxic mercury pollution, but also increased fine particle pollution, which has been shown to lead to respiratory illness and death.  These protections are essential in the midst of a deadly pandemic wreaking havoc on Americans’ respiratory health.  Either the Trump Administration is willfully ignorant to the health consequences of increased air pollution, or it doesn’t care. 

“What’s more, the electric power sector opposes this move since it has already made substantial investments to clean up its act and meet the requirements of MATS. So today’s move benefits only the very dirtiest power plants at the expense of everyone else — but most especially pregnant women, infants and communities of color.

“It shocks the conscience that not even a global pandemic can stop this Administration from dismantling human health protections.  This is a reprehensible, irrational action taken by an Administration with shamefully little regard for public health and safety, and it must be reversed.”

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