More than 20,000 Americans and members of Congress sent letters to the EPA supporting the agency's proposal for stricter cement kilns pollution controls. The EPA estimates that the proposed cuts will curb mercury by up to 93 percent, particulate matter by up to 96 percent and hydrochloric acid by up to 94 percent. The cuts in particulate matter alone will prevent up to 1,600 premature deaths every year.
The new EPA proposal signifies that the Obama administration is taking a more science-based approach to protecting the public from toxic air pollution while respecting the law and seeking input from environmental groups and health advocates.
"For the last three months, the EPA has heard from tens of thousands of Americans about the importance of protecting public health and the environment by curbing toxic air pollution from cement kilns," said Earthjustice attorney James Pew. "The agency has listened and they have acted."