These pollutants, like mercury, arsenic, lead and selenium, can cause a host of health issues and do not break down, meaning that they can also contaminate sediment, aquatic life and wildlife. The EPA regulations are expected to reduce the amount of contaminants entering America’s waterways be 1.4 billion pounds, triggering a $463 million benefit per year across the country.
“Today, EPA is setting the first national limits to protect public health and reduce toxic pollutants, including mercury, arsenic, lead and selenium released into America’s waterways by steam electric power plants,” EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy said. “These cost-effective, achievable limits will provide significant protections for our children and communities across the country, including minority and low-income communities, from exposure to pollutants that can cause neurological damage in children, cancer and other serious health problems.”
According to the EPA, 12 percent of the country’s steam electric power plants, mostly located in the mid-Atlantic and midwestern states, will be impacted by the rule and require technological improvements for compliance.
EPA testimony statements are found at www.epa.gov.