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Historic Numbers of Americans Call for Clean Air

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19 July 2011, 10:36 AM
More than 600,000 people say power plants should keep it clean
Supporters of strong mercury standards for power plants could fill up Fenway 17 times over. Photo: Jared Vincent/Flickr

How many Americans does it take to clean up dirty coal-fired power plants?


A coalition of public health, environmental and social justice groups delivered that number of public comments to the Environmental Protection Agency today at an event in Boston. This is a historic amount of support for air pollution standards that are projected to reduce mercury, soot and other dangerous pollution from coal-fired power plants—saving up to 17,000 lives every year in the process. Earthjustice supporters contributed more than 45,000 of those public comments, and for that, we're very proud… and thankful.

Just how big is this outpouring of support? Well, that many people could fill Boston's historic Fenway Park, home of the Red Sox, more than 17 times over. In fact, 639,000 people is greater than the population of Boston—and many other major American cities. A city of 639,000 would be the 21st largest city in America.

Boston comment delivery event

Keynote speakers at the comment delivery event in Boston today. 639,000 public comments were delivered to the EPA, though the banner reads 617,000. A batch of 22,000 additional comments was delivered at the last minute. Photo: Devin Dobbins-McCarthy

The city's ranks may grow larger still. The comment period to weigh in on strong mercury standards for power plants doesn’t end until August 5th. Please join those who've already spoken out for strong mercury standards to protect our health and the health of our children. Tell the EPA you want power plants to clean up their pollution. A place where coal-fired power plants don't pollute our air and damage our health sounds like a good place to live.

Said Curt Spalding of the EPA: 

This tremendous response signals that Americans know how important it is to cut down on mercury, arsenic and other dangerous pollutants in the air we breathe.

Not only will these safeguards prevent thousands of premature deaths and cases of asthma and other illnesses, they will level the playing field for power plants already using widely available clean technology. We're relying on the continued input of New Englanders, and all Americans, to help us make these vital safeguards a reality.

Why Americans wouldn't want clean, healthy breathable air is beyond me. There is simply no other option - for those who choose money and greed over clean air (and a healthy environment) find another planet to live on!

We must have clean air, the Earth must have clean air, we are destroying the systems that have cleaned it for millennium, I I have friends dying of asthma, its not OK! Why destroy mother earth, one of the greatest gifts

Air is one of our most immediate necessities, it should be clean for healthy population and sustainable future. Short sightedness could be catastrophic to the future gen, let's play with some concern and stop judging success with money. Corruption will fail you and the people with lack of leadership on clean air responsibilities. Help those with asthma, help the unborn have a higher success rate in the U.S. Declining infant mortality correlates with the quality of air. Have you heard a gasping child??? It is becoming more common. Clean Air is the right and responsibility of our generation to give to the next. Any governmental leader that fails to support clean air will become a former leader by will of the people to pursue clean air. Get with clean air or get out of the People's House, we demand clean air.

Clean air is one of the most important ways to prevent disease! It is a necessity and a right!

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