Pennsylvania Moms 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, 267.981.1468, firstname.lastname@example.org
Philadelphia, PA – 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). In response, Mollie Michel, Program Manager for Moms Clean Air Force and Philadelphia resident, issued this rebuke:
“Even as Pennsylvanians are sick and dying from coronavirus—a lethal respiratory pandemic—Andrew Wheeler and the Trump administration ramp up their efforts to undermine life-saving pollution protections. To push forward this cynical giveaway to polluters at this moment in our nation’s history defies belief.
“Today’s attack on the Mercury and Air Toxics Standards that protect our babies and children from brain-damaging mercury pollution is an outrage. This is the latest in a slew of attacks on public health and the environment by an administration that is in thrall to the coal industry.
“Moms are asking: Why would Andrew Wheeler cripple a fully implemented, highly effective pollution standard that is protecting babies’ brains from mercury and other air toxics? Administrator Wheeler’s new rule guts the life-saving MATS protections and will allow coal-fired power plants to spew more mercury into the air.
“As a Philadelphian and a mom living in a city sometimes dubbed the ‘asthma capital’ due to poor air quality, with a childhood asthma rate more than twice the national average, I am compelled to speak out against the dangers of air pollution and its impacts on our children. This attack on the Mercury and Air Toxics Standards is especially harmful to pregnant women and babies, because mercury pollution can cross the placenta and interfere with normal brain development in the womb.
“Pennsylvanians should be livid. Since the Mercury and Air Toxics Standards were enacted in 2012, pollution from coal-fired power plants in Pennsylvania has decreased by 90%, with an estimated $4.4 billion health benefit to Pennsylvanians each year. Across the country, the Mercury and Air Toxics Standards prevent 130,000 asthma attacks annually. Undermining these standards could not be a clearer indication of the true priorities of Trump’s EPA: placing polluter profits over our children’s health.
“Moms cannot remain silent in the face of this assault on public health protections. Pennsylvania families will continue to fight these attacks on fully implemented standards that protect our families from harm. Our children deserve nothing less.”
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.