Moms in the Great Lakes region are outraged at EPA’s attack on the Mercury and Air Toxics Standards in the midst of a global respiratory pandemic: Sabotaging these standards is an unforgivable assault on our health
April 16, 2020
Contact: Mollie Michel, firstname.lastname@example.org, 267.981.1648
Today, in the midst of a global respiratory pandemic, EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler is expected to finalize his attack on the life-saving Mercury and Air Toxics Standards (MATS), which have been implemented since 2012, and reduce American families’ exposure to mercury and other harmful air pollutants. In response, Elizabeth Hauptman, Field Organizer for Moms Clean Air Force’s Michigan Chapter, issued this rebuke:
“Trump’s EPA has hit a new low with today’s finalization of a senseless attack on a life-saving air pollution standard, in the midst of a respiratory pandemic that is ravaging our lungs. The Mercury and Air Toxics Standards are fully implemented and already protecting babies, children, and moms. This move is a cynical giveaway to a small number of polluters looking for a handout.
“As a Midwesterner and a mom, I take this attack personally. That’s because the Mercury and Air Toxics Standards provide Michiganders—and families across the Great Lakes region—with vital protections from harmful pollution from coal-fired power plants. Attacking these standards is a direct attack on the air we breathe and the water we drink, and Moms will fight this every step of the way.
“Since these standards were enacted in 2012, Michigan residents—and residents of all the Great Lakes states—including Illinois, Indiana, Minnesota, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin—have benefited from a 81% reduction in mercury pollution from coal-fired power plants and an estimated $26.2 billion in health benefits each year as a result. Across the country, the Mercury and Air Toxics Standards save 11,000 Americans from premature death and prevent 130,000 asthma attacks annually. It’s outrageous to undermine such an enormously successful program that protects our babies’ brains and bodies from preventable coal plant pollution.”
Dominique Browning, Co-Founder and Senior Director of Moms Clean Air Force, and New York State resident, also expressed her outrage.
“While America suffers devastating public health impacts of the coronavirus outbreak—a lethal respiratory pandemic—Andrew Wheeler and the Trump administration continue their cynical campaign to protect industrial polluters at the cost of our health,” said Browning.
“We have been mystified as to why Trump’s EPA would cripple a rule that is a fully implemented, highly effective standard that is protecting babies’ brains from mercury and other air toxics from coal plants. Our hundreds of thousands of members who live in Great Lakes states are outraged, and we will not give up the fight for strong rules and policies that keep our children safe from harmful pollution.
“Today, Trump’s EPA has chosen to gamble with our children’s health for the benefit of coal industry profits. This is an unacceptable assault on life-saving standards that protect our babies and children from harmful mercury pollution. Families across the country will continue to fight these attacks on behalf of the most vulnerable among us.”
About Moms Clean Air Force: Moms Clean Air Force is a community of over one million moms—and dads—working together to fight air pollution, including the urgent crisis of our changing climate. For more information, go to http://www.momscleanairforce.org/or follow us on Twitter @CleanAirMoms, Instagram @cleanairmoms, or Facebook.