As my colleague John Walke eloquently explains, the EPA is taking action today that -- if polluters and their cohorts in Congress don't get in the way -- will save tens of thousands of lives and prevent hundreds of thousands of cases of respiratory illness.
Today, the EPA announced the most important actions to clean up air pollution from dirty coal-burning power plants since the Clean Air Act was last updated in 1990.
EPA’s proposed mercury and air toxics standards for power plants that burn coal and oil are projected to save as many as 17,000 American lives every year by 2015. These standards also will prevent up to 120,000 cases of childhood asthma symptoms, and there will be 11,000 fewer cases of acute bronchitis among children every year.
The standards also will avoid more than 12,000 emergency room and hospital visits and prevent 850,000 lost work days every year.
John's blog has more information and background so check it out. EPA also published a powerpoint with some powerful illustrations that help convey the import and impact of the new life-saving standards.
First, dirty power plants are massive source of toxic pollution:
And the power plants that are the sources of these toxic pollutants can be found in just about every state, though most are found east of the Rockies.
So if you ever wonder what it is that the Environmental Protection Agency does for you and your family, just remember these two slides for the answer. The EPA protects you and your family from dangerous air pollution that are far closer to you than you might imagine.
This post was first published on NRDC's Switchboard blog.
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