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EPA Sets First-Ever Toxic Air Pollution Limits for Power Plants

Victory: Tens of thousands of lives saved thanks to push from thousands of Americans for stronger safeguards
December 21, 2011
Washington, D.C. —

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency today announced plans to cut emissions of mercury, arsenic, and other toxic air pollutants from coal- and oil-fired power plants—the nation's worst toxic air polluters.

The following statements are from Earthjustice president Trip Van Noppen and Earthjustice attorney James Pew. Mr. Pew argued in federal court in 2006 in a lawsuit challenging weak air pollution standards adopted by the Bush administration. That lawsuit led to today's announcement.

Trip Van Noppen, president, Earthjustice:

"We're celebrating today after a long fight for cleaner air. Earthjustice has stuck with this fight through thick and thin for more than a decade, and we're pleased after that long effort to see President Obama deliver this positive result. We'll remain vigilant against the inevitable attacks of these public health protections in Congress and in the courts, but for now, this is an incredible achievement that makes this holiday season a lot happier and healthier. We commend President Obama for this important life-saving result."

James Pew, attorney, Earthjustice:

"America is getting the gift of clean air this holiday season. We applaud the President for issuing these vital clean air protections that will save up to 11,000 lives each year by ensuring that the dirtiest power plants in the nation install the available technology that will cut mercury, arsenic, and other dangerous pollutants that make people sick."


Sam Edmondson, Earthjustice (415) 217-2005

Jared Saylor, Earthjustice (202) 745-5213

We're the lawyers for the environment, and the law is on our side.