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EPA Plan to Evade Required Cuts in Mercury Pollution Challenged in Court by States, Tribes, Health and Environmental Groups
Date:12/6/2007

WASHINGTON, Dec. 6 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Fourteen states and dozens of Native American tribes, public health and environmental groups, and organizations representing registered nurses and physicians appeared in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia today seeking to overturn Bush administration proposals that evade legally required cuts in mercury pollution from coal- and oil-fired power plants (Case No.: 05-1097). The broad coalition called for the complete reversal of a suite of Environmental Protection Agency rules, including the so-called "Clean Air Mercury Rule," which allows dangerously high levels of mercury pollution to persist under a weak cap-and-trade program that would not take full effect until well beyond 2020.

The states challenging this EPA rule are: California, Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Maine, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Pennsylvania, Vermont and Wisconsin.

The following joint statement can be attributed to the American Nurses Association; the American Public Health Association; Chesapeake Bay Foundation; Clean Air Task Force; Conservation Law Foundation; Earthjustice; Environment America (formerly US PIRG); Environmental Defense; National Wildlife Federation; Natural Resources Council of Maine; Natural Resources Defense Council; Ohio Environmental Council; Physicians for Social Responsibility; Sierra Club; and Waterkeeper Alliance:

"These rules are simply illegal. Despite mercury pollution's significant impacts on human health and the environment, EPA has ignored science, law and human health in allowing coal-fired power plants to churn out dangerous mercury levels. Rather than applying the toughest standards of the Clean Air Act, EPA has proposed an ineffective mercury trading scheme that delays implementation of modern pollution controls for years. EPA has created an illegal loophole for the power generating industry that allows for danger
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SOURCE Environmental Defense
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