The EPA needs to hear from you
The EPA has proposed a rule that would significantly reduce mercury pollution from coal-fired power plants. Exposure to mercury can cause birth defects, neurological damage and countless other health and environmental problems.
There is some model language for you to review in the form to the right. We encourage you to use the language as the basis for your own comments. We also urge you to include your own stories about why this fight is important to you, your family and your community.
Fill out the form and press the "Submit Form" button to tell the EPA that you support this rule.
Dear EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson,
I am writing in support of the proposed Mercury and Air Toxics Rule. This long-overdue action will significantly reduce toxic air pollution from burning coal, and is essential to protecting the health of Americans.
Coal-fired power plants pollute the air we breathe with toxic metals such as mercury. Mercury can cause birth defects, neurological damage and countless other health issues. Children are the most vulnerable to mercury's devastating effects; as many as one in six U.S. women of childbearing age may already have enough mercury in their bodies to harm a developing fetus.
Meanwhile, coal-fired power plants also release particulate matter such as soot, sulfur dioxide gases that cause acid rain, and other toxic metals -- pollution that has been linked to cancer, heart disease, asthma and bronchitis. These coal-fired power plants are the same ones that put millions upon millions of tons of carbon pollution into the atmosphere each year, leading to dangerous changes in our climate. Coal plants currently account for over a quarter of the carbon pollution in the United States.
Implementing the proposed standards will help prevent 17,000 deaths and 12,000 hospital visits each year. While industry might complain about the cost of the rule, annual compliance costs are estimated to be far less than what we pay now to address the health impacts of mercury and other pollution. According to the EPA, every dollar spent to control pollution will result in $5 to $13 in health benefits. There are economic benefits as well. For example, compliance with the proposed rule could create up to 31,000 short-term jobs and 9,000 long-term jobs.
For too long, the coal industry has allowed the public to pick up the tab for dangerous pollution like mercury. I applaud EPA's effort to protect public health, and strongly urge you to keep the finalized Mercury and Air Toxics rule robust.