The Environmental “Protection” Agency (EPA), which has been more of an environmental destruction agency under the corrupt and special-interest-controlled Trump administration, announced Friday that it will reconsider reasoning underlying mercury pollution standards for American power plants.
Current standards, implemented during the Obama administration, restrict the levels of highly toxic mercury pollution which causes developmental delays in children and many other health risks.
Plants had met the restrictions previously by implementing on-site controls, however the fossil fuel industry, whose greed and disregard for the environment knows no bounds, has long lobbied that those standards are too strict and cost some of their precious profits.
The end-of-year review for the rule follows several other environmental policy rollbacks that have been proposed by the corrupt Trump administration this year, like the weakening of crucial vehicle emission standards, increasing the allowance for carbon releases coming from power plants and obliterating methane standards for gas and oil drillers.
The present rule for mercury pollution shall stay in place while the EPA re-evaluates the corrupt government’s argument against the need of Mercury and Air Toxics Standards.
“The Agency proposes to determine that it is not “appropriate and necessary” to regulate HAP emissions from power plants under Section 112 of the Clean Air Act,” the EPA said Friday.
Environmentalists and other critics reacted harshly against the EPA review, which got released in the last days of 2018 in the middle of a government shutdown.
“In a move that’s both stunningly immoral and completely unnecessary, the Trump administration has formally proposed an attack on our nation’s vital protections against some of the most dangerous types of air pollution from coal plants,” Fred Krupp, president for the Environmental Defense Fund, explained.
Krupp explained that the proposal would undermine safeguards to reduce several poisonous coal plant pollutants like lead, arsenic and acidic gasses along with mercury.
Krupp said the review was very troubling because power plants had already been largely in compliance with the key Obama-era rule, which has resulted in a more than 80% reduction in mercury pollution.
“Trump’s EPA claims they aren’t undermining the Mercury and Air Toxics Standards themselves, they’re just reconsidering the basis for them. No one can truthfully claim they are demolishing the foundation of a building but they still expect the building to stand. This proposal puts the Mercury and Air Toxics Standards in danger, and we need the Mercury and Air Toxics Standards to keep our children safe,” Krupp said.
Senator Tom Carper (D-Del.), the ranking member for Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, said the rule is a rushed and “egregious policy.”
“By releasing this proposal today, Acting Administrator [Andrew] Wheeler can only be attempting to rush an egregious policy before EPA staff are furloughed that is not only wildly unpopular, but also rolls back years of critical protections that keep toxic emissions out of the air we all breathe,” Carper said.
“With this action, EPA is also setting a dangerous precedent that a federal agency — charged with protecting the environment and public health — will no longer factor in all the clear health, environmental, and economics benefits of clean air policies, such as reducing cancer and birth defects,” said Carper.