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Court Rejects Attempt to Kill Cement Plant Rule

Important air protection will save between 900-2,500 lives
December 9, 2011
Washington, D.C. —

Today, the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals rejected the Portland Cement Association’s attempt to kill Clean Air Act standards that will reduce cement plants’ emissions of mercury and other hazardous air pollutants by more than 90 percent and save between 900 and 2,500 American lives every year.

On behalf of its clients, Sierra Club, Desert Citizens Against Pollution, Downwinders At Risk, Friends of Hudson, Huron Environmental Activist League, and Montanans Against Toxic Burning, Earthjustice intervened to defend this important U.S. Environmental Protection Agency rule against the industry’s attack.

“With this decision concerned citizens, particularly those in host communities can finally breathe a little easier,” said Susan Falzon of Friends of Hudson. “We have to remain steadfastly vigilant, be prepared for the long haul and committed to act whenever the environment and public health are threatened by corporate greed.”

“This ruling sends a critical message to polluters that their efforts to weaken or completely block important regulations will not be tolerated,” said Kelly Stryker of Stop Titan Action Network. “Hopefully, our congressional leaders will stop supporting legislation intended to threaten public health, taking this court ruling as a clear sign that public health is a fundamental right of all citizens and something we should all be fighting to protect, not dismantle.”

“For over a decade, the Portland Cement Association has used money and political clout to avoid controlling its emissions of mercury and other toxic pollution,” said Earthjustice attorney Jim Pew. “PCA’s lawsuit attacking these control requirements was part and parcel of that strategy. Going forward, we urge PCA and its members to put their resources toward controlling their toxic pollution rather than evading the law. And we ask our elected representatives to reject PCA’s efforts to obtain special exemptions from the law and to stand up for the badly needed and long overdue health protections that the EPA has put in place.”

Contacts

Jim Pew, Earthjustice, (202) 745-5214

Raviya Ismail, Earthjustice, (202) 745-5221

About Earthjustice

Earthjustice is the premier nonprofit environmental law organization. We wield the power of law and the strength of partnership to protect people’s health, to preserve magnificent places and wildlife, to advance clean energy, and to combat climate change. We are here because the earth needs a good lawyer.