EPA Prioritizes Justice For Frontline Communities With Latest Mercury Pollution Rule

In response to the release of the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Mercury and Air Toxics Standards (MATS), Evergreen Action Power Sector Policy Lead Charles Harper released the following statement:

“Coal plants are the leading contributor of poisonous air pollution, which is disproportionately ravaging frontline communities—but EPA’s new rule will reduce the harm done by these toxic pollutants. The MATS rule released today by EPA takes critical steps to ramp down air pollution by raising the bar on standards for coal-fired power plants. EPA is rightfully seizing advances in technology to strengthen the parameters of the Obama-era MATS rule. The Biden administration’s new and improved rule will boost protections for Black, Brown, Indigenous, and low-income communities that are most impacted by air pollution. We look forward to reviewing this proposal in more depth and participating in the public comment process to ensure that this rule maximizes public health benefits.

“There’s no ‘safe level’ of these hazardous air pollutants. Mercury, heavy metals, and other malignant air pollutants can cause heart disease and respiratory disorders, severely impact brain development in the young, and perpetuate environmental racism. EPA’s new rule cracks down on these pollutants and prioritizes environmental justice at a time when the IPCC reports we need these efforts more than ever.”

Evergreen previously released “Falling Further Behind: A Report Card on EPA’s Progress on 10 Important Power Sector Rules,” highlighting EPA’s progress on 10 key power sector and air quality rules that are critical to reining in pollution that harms frontline communities and are exacerbating the climate crisis.