Sen. Carper Pleased That Circuit Court Holds Firm on Mercury Rule

WASHINGTON – Sen. Tom Carper (D-Del.), chairman of the Senate Clean Air and Nuclear Safety Subcommittee, issued the following statement in response to the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals’ decision late today not to re-examine its previous decision to strike down the Administration’s Clean Air Mercury Rule.

In February, the court ruled that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) failed to fulfill its obligations under the Clean Air Act when it issued the 2005 Clean Air Mercury Rule.

In response to that ruling, Sen. Carper introduced his Mercury Emissions Control Act (MECA), which directs the EPA to act now to comply with federal clean air laws by writing a mercury rule that protects public health and mandates that mercury controls be installed at every power plant in America.

In response to today’s court ruling on EPA’s mercury rule, Sen. Carper said:

“I was discouraged when I first learned that the EPA appealed the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia’s original decision on the Clean Air Mercury Rule, but I am pleased today  that the court has decided to not rehear this case.

“EPA’s flawed mercury rule ignored federal law and did not go far enough to protect the health of the unborn, children and adults who are at increased risk from mercury pollution. America’s families have already waited too long for mercury pollution to be addressed, and we cannot allow any more delays.

“Cost-efficient, practical technology is available today to reduce mercury emissions from coal-fired power plants. Following today’s court action, the EPA must now start working on implementing mercury pollution requirements that follow the Clean Air Act and are absolutely necessary to protect American public health.

“This court decision today further justifies the need for the Senate to act on my Clean Air Planning Act (CAPA), which would require power plants to reduce their mercury emissions by 90 percent by 2015, as well as reduce emissions of nitrogen oxide, sulfur dioxide and carbon dioxide.”