Carper Statement on Mercury

Leavitt Taking Positive Steps but Legislative Solution to Mercury Is Needed

WASHINGTON (March 16, 2004) – Sen. Tom Carper, D-Del., released the following statement on news reports that EPA Administrator Michael Leavitt plans to re-examine the analyses behind the administration’s mercury rule, which was proposed in December: “Many of us in Congress have been saying for months now that the administration’s rule on mercury is deeply flawed and will not sufficiently protect the public’s health, so it’s a positive first step to hear that Administrator Leavitt will be examining the rule in greater detail. But we should not lose sight of the fact that it should not ultimately be up to the administration to move forward on this issue without input from Congress. I remain concerned that the administration is circumventing congressional authority over the Clean Air Act through its mercury proposal. Instead, the administration should withdraw its rule and work with Congress to develop legislation to tighten controls on mercury and other air pollutants that represent threats to human health.” Carper is the senior Democrat on the Senate Subcommittee on Clean Air, Climate Change and Nuclear Safety. Along with Sens. Lincoln Chafee, R-R.I., Judd Gregg, R-N.J., and Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., Carper is the sponsor of the Clean Air Planning Act, which would reduce mercury emissions by 80 percent over the next decade. It would also reduce emissions of sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxide and carbon dioxide.