Today is a historic day for the health and safety of our children.
The Obama administration has set the first-ever national standards for mercury and other toxic air pollution for power plants. These historic new health standards will save lives, prevent illnesses like asthma and bronchitis, avoid hospitalizations and missed days at work, and create jobs in pollution control technology.
Our children have waited long enough to breathe clean air without the threat of inhaling toxic air pollution from coal-fired power plants. The Obama administration’s new standards will help protect us from many airborne toxins, including mercury, arsenic, lead, dioxins, acid gases and other harmful pollutants.
LCV members submitted more than 50,000 public comments, attended public hearings and rallied in support of these new standards when they were first proposed earlier this year. In fact, more than 900,000 Americans submitted comments to the EPA – the most comments ever received on an EPA rule. And the overwhelmingly majority of those comments were in support of the rule. This massive display of grassroots support demonstrates that together we can affect meaningful change.
The significance of these new standards cannot be understated. The negative health impacts of toxic air pollution are well-known and documented – and the EPA is estimating that these new standards will save thousands of lives, prevent up to 130,000 asthma attacks and avert 11,000 cases of acute childhood bronchitis every year starting in 2015.