Valley Watch responds to EPA Air Toxics proposal

March 16, 2011-Press Release from Valley Watch regarding EPA’s proposal to reduce toxic emissions from power plants.

Valley Watch is pleased that EPA has finally proposed concrete rules to control toxic air pollution from coal fired power plants. “Required by the passage of the Clean Air Act in 1990, it is about time that EPA issued rules that will hopefully be protective of people’s health in areas where coal is burned every singe day of the year in massive quantities,” declared, John Blair, president of the group whose purpose is to protect the public health and environment of the lower Ohio River Valley. (please see attached database of tri-state power plant toxic emissions)

“For years the people of the lower Ohio Valley have been exposed to huge amounts of metals, including mercury, and acid gases that have caused a general decline in the region’s health, perhaps now, our children will have a fighting chance to live without worrying about the poisons they have been forced to breathe every day of their lives,” Blair went on.

The new rules are designed to significantly reduce those emissions and should serve to immediately begin improving regional human health as soon as they are implemented by 2016. The region of western Kentucky, southern Illinois and southwest Indiana sadly boasts the largest concentration of coal fired power plants in North America, if not the world and those plants release more than 42 million pounds of toxic chemicals which the new rule is meant to quell.

We also look forward to the significant increase in construction employment that will result as decisions are made to build control devices on the region’s power plants. EPA estimates that the rule will result in 14,000 engineering and construction jobs as the rule is implemented.

Valley Watch has fought long for these protections and others so that the health of area residents can be improved. It has done so by challenging polluting plants that have been proposed in the courts as well as in the court of public opinion and is proud of our mostly successful record in doing so.

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