Biden administration to reinstate mercury pollution rules weakened under Trump

“Solid science clearly shows that we need to limit mercury and toxins in the air to protect children and vulnerable communities from dang...


“Solid science clearly shows that we need to limit mercury and toxins in the air to protect children and vulnerable communities from dangerous pollution,” said EPA Administrator Michael Regan. “The EPA is committed to aggressively reducing pollution from the power sector so that all people, no matter their zip code or how much money they have in their pocket, can breathe clean air. clean air and lead a healthy and productive life.”

EPA officials had completed the work of restoring the mercury policy last fall when they sent it to the White House for review. But administration officials put the policy on hold, fearing it would antagonize industry and lawmakers just as President Biden sought to drum up support for his climate and social policy bill known as the Bill. name of Build Back Better, according to two people familiar with the matter who spoke on condition of anonymity.

After negotiations on Build Back Better failed in December, administration officials decided to press ahead with mercury policy while congressional Democrats try to save the legislation.

Environmental advocates hailed renewed enforcement of the mercury rule, which was the first federal standard to require power plants to install expensive “scrubber” technology to reduce emissions of the neurotoxin. At the time of the decline of the Trump administrationmany environmental law experts saw it as a first step towards eliminating other pollution limits.

“This was all an effort by the Trump administration to advocate for limiting future regulations, to make it harder to regulate the industry,” said Matthew Davis, a former EPA official who helped draft the Mercury Rule, then left government in part. because the Trump administration has sought to weaken it. Mr. Davis now works for the League of Conservation Voters, an advocacy group.

When the Obama administration crafted the mercury rule, it estimated it would cost industry $9.6 billion a year, making it the most expensive air quality regulation in the country. the story. It also valued the direct public health benefits of mercury reduction at $6 million per year, less than the cost to industry.

But then he counted the ‘co-benefits’ of installing the scrubbers: a reduction in other pollutants, including sulfur dioxide and fine soot particles, which are linked to heart, brain, lung and respiratory disease. . These co-benefits have been estimated at $80 billion over five years, including the prevention of 4,700 heart attacks, 130,000 asthma attacks and 11,000 premature deaths per year.

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Newsrust - US Top News: Biden administration to reinstate mercury pollution rules weakened under Trump
Biden administration to reinstate mercury pollution rules weakened under Trump
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