Sen. Carper Commends the EPA for Taking Action to Reduce Mercury and Other Air Toxics

WASHINGTON – Today, Sen. Tom Carper (D-Del.), Chairman of the Senate Subcommittee on Clean Air, released the following statement commending the Environment Protection Agency’s (EPA) rule to reduce hazardous air pollutants from dirty coal and oil-fired power plants:

“Since coming to the Senate, I have worked across the aisle to find a way to clean up our nation’s largest source of mercury emissions – unregulated, dirty power plants. While it hasn’t been easy, today’s announcement shows that we are making progress. After years of delay, the Environmental Protection Agency has finally acted to require dirty coal and oil-fired power plants to clean up their mercury and deadly air toxic emissions. The EPA is targeting emissions that we know can negatively impact our children’s brain development, cause cancer, and even cause death. Today’s long overdue public health measure will help clean our air of deadly toxics, ensuring that many people in this country live better, healthier and, in some cases, longer lives.

“With this decision, I believe the Environmental Protection Agency has provided a reasonable and achievable schedule for our dirtiest power plants to reduce harmful air toxic emissions. At the same time, I believe the Environmental Protection Agency has given enough flexibility to industry and states to meet those targets and address any possible local reliability concerns. These clean air investments will be a win-win-win as we save thousands of lives, save billions of dollars in health care costs and work productivity, and create good paying jobs here at home by cleaning up these dirty power plants. In fact, this new rule is expected to produce 46,000 jobs in the near term during the installation of the needed clean air technology, and thousands more for long-term utility jobs.

“Since 1970, the economic, health, and environmental benefits of the Clean Air Act have far outweighed the costs. This new standard to reduce harmful mercury and other air toxics will be no different. For every dollar spent to reduce pollution – this country will get up to $9 annually in health benefits and increased work productivity. At the same time, we can create much needed jobs in America every year. That strikes me as a great return on our investment. I will continue to work with the Administration and my colleagues in Congress to improve – and protect – our nation’s clean air.”