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2020 Press Releases

HomeAboutNewsroomPress ReleasesPress Releases from the ATS2020 Press Releases ▶ EPA’S Attempt to Roll Back Regulations on Mercury and Air Toxic Emissions Ignores Science, Common Sense
EPA’S Attempt to Roll Back Regulations on Mercury and Air Toxic Emissions Ignores Science, Common Sense

April 17, 2020 -- Against the recommendation of the environmental, public health and even the electric power industry, this week the Environmental Protection Agency issued final rules to roll back regulations on mercury and toxic air emissions from our nation’s coal and oil-fired power plants. To justify taking such action, says the American Thoracic Society, the EPA ignored years of precedent – used by both Republican and Democratic Administrations – determining how the agency conducts cost benefit analysis of environmental regulations. 

"EPA cooked the books and ignored the health benefits that have been achieved by installing control technology to reduce mercury and air toxic emissions," says Mary B. Rice, MD, chair of the ATS Environmental Health Policy Committee. "Our patients' hearts and lungs are healthier when ambient air pollution is improved through mercury control technology. It is foolish and harmful to public health to ignore health benefits in order to make environmental regulation seem too expensive."  

“The EPA’s decision ignores science, economic guidance, and common sense by not considering all costs and benefits in their rule making,” says Kevin Cromar, PhD, vice-chair of the ATS Environmental Health Policy Committee. 

“If there is a small consolation for this bad decision it is that industry has already largely complied with the requirements of the original rule and has done so at a fraction of the estimated costs. The real threat to public health is the EPA seeking to arbitrarily select which costs and benefits to consider when crafting future environmental health policies, but we trust the courts will see through this clumsy attempt to rewrite how good policy analysis should take place."