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The Cheswick coal-fired power plant in Pennsylvania, reflected in a window of a home in Springdale, is among the hundreds of power plants likely covered by the Mercury & Air Toxics Standards.
(Chris Jordan-Bloch / Earthjustice)
feature April 5, 2023

The Mercury & Air Toxics Standards

When coal is burned in the U.S., most of the mercury in the coal no longer spews into our air — thanks to a federal rule that Earthjustice and our clients fought for and continue to defend.

Press Release January 28, 2011

EPA Exempts Refineries From Hazardous Waste Control Requirements

Agency affirms Bush-era loophole exempting refineries’ hazardous waste from public health and safety requirements

Press Release: Victory June 12, 2009

U.S. EPA to Review Standards for Hazardous Waste Combustors

Failure to regulate has allowed release of tons of toxic pollution released annually

Press Release June 8, 2010

EPA Abandons Rule Permitting Unregulated Hazardous Waste Burning

Environmental groups and communities cheer decision to enforce hazardous waste laws

Press Release December 12, 2008

Agency Advances "Midnight Rule" Deregulating Tons of Hazardous Waste

Companies can burn dangerous waste without complying with hazardous waste laws

Article November 10, 2011

Sure, Inhaling Mercury Is Fine for Your Health

As part of the Poisoned Places: Toxic Air, Neglected Communities series, NPR investigated the toxic air pollution being pumped out of the Ash Grove cement plant in Chanute, Kansas, a town of roughly 9,000 people. The Ash Grove facility, which emits some 500 pounds of mercury a year when operating full blast, is not violating…

Press Release November 30, 1999

Suit Filed to Require EPA to Protect Families from Airborne Toxics

Earthjustice filed suit on behalf of the Sierra Club against EPA challenging the agency’s new national air rule for incinerators and cement kilns that burn hazardous waste.

Press Release December 8, 2005

Hazardous Waste Combustors Remain Major Source of Unregulated Toxic Pollution

Lawsuit challenges flawed EPA rule that allows hazardous chemical emissions

Press Release April 17, 2013

Communities Ask Court for Protection from Toxic Air Pollution

Cement plants should start cleaning up now

Press Release November 16, 2009

Clean Air Act Turns 19; Important Clean Air Milestones Reached, More Remain

EPA has made strides on incinerators, cement kilns just in the last 10 months alone

staff April 8, 2010

James Pew

Jim Pew is the director of clean air practice. He is based in Earthjustice’s Washington, D.C. office. He received a B.A. in history from Stanford University, a M.A. in law from Cambridge University, and a J.D. from the University of Pennsylvania.

Press Release: Victory June 11, 2007

Court Shuts Down Illegal EPA Incinerator Rule

Decision will require protective controls for toxic emissions from waste burners

Press Release July 7, 2006

EPA Allows More Pollution from Large Waste Combustors, Avoids Recycling Requirement

Trash burning already accounts for over 13 tons of mercury pollution alone each year

Press Release July 24, 2001

Landmark Victory for Public Health & the Environment

Earthjustice today secured a landmark victory for public health and the environment pertaining to critical clean air standards. In its ruling today, the United States Court of Appeals struck down as inadequate and unlawful EPA regulations for incinerators and cement kilns that burn hazardous waste.

Press Release July 3, 2013

Communities Across the Country Bombarded By Pollution Urge EPA to Follow Current Science

Environmental health and justice advocates submit comments on cumulative impacts of toxic pollution

Press Release: Victory April 30, 2010

EPA Cracks Down on Toxic Air Pollution

New rules will dramatically cut toxic air pollution, but potential exemptions leave many communities vulnerable

Press Release July 17, 2001

Earthjustice Lawsuit Challenges EPA'S Failure to Control Hazardous Air Pollution in Cities

Responding to a rash of missed clean air deadlines, Earthjustice today filed the second of seven lawsuits challenging the federal government’s chronic failure to protect Americans from the health hazards of toxic air pollution. Earthjustice represents Sierra Club in its second suit this week against the Environmental Protection Agency.

Press Release November 10, 2009

EPA Study: Widespread Contamination of Fish

Fish in U.S. lakes and reservoirs have harmful levels of mercury and other toxic chemicals