Center for American Progress

We Need Strong Protection Against Harmful Pollution
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We Need Strong Protection Against Harmful Pollution

The EPA’s proposed air toxic standards and their other ongoing efforts should be defended both before Congress and in our public discourse.

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The Environmental Protection Agency took a critical step toward cleaner air on March 16, 2011, by proposing its air toxics standards for coal-fired power plants. The proposed rule would limit emissions of mercury, arsenic, and other air toxics from power plants for the first time.

These protections were called for in the 1990 Clean Air Act amendments, but they haven’t been implemented, and they are long overdue. Toxic mercury, arsenic, and other pollutants have been spewing uncontrolled from power plants even though we fully know how bad they are.

Unfortunately, recent attempts by House Republicans to handcuff the EPA are threatening both decades of public health progress and the further action we need to clean up the air, which will lessen the burden of asthma and other health problems. The EPA’s proposed air toxic standards and their other ongoing efforts should be defended both before Congress and in our public discourse.

To this end CAP’s sister organization, the Center for American Progress Action Fund, has helped lead a summer-long campaign urging Americans to submit their public comments to the EPA, calling for strong protection against harmful pollution. All told, over 800,000 Americans submitted comments to the EPA.

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