Washington, D.C. – In a letter sent to Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Andrew Wheeler, U.S. Senator Susan Collins (R-ME) joined Senators Lamar Alexander (R-TN), Tom Carper (D-DE), Joe Manchin (D-WV), Thom Tillis (R-NC), and Sherrod Brown (D-OH) in urging the Administration to withdraw a proposed rule that could lead to changes to the EPA’s Mercury Rule.
The Mercury and Air Toxics Standards (the Mercury Rule) was finalized in February 2012 to reduce emissions of mercury and toxic air pollutants from coal-fired and oil-fired power plants. In June 2012, Senator Collins voted to support the Mercury Rule on the Senate floor. The EPA released a proposed rule on December 27, 2018, to revoke the finding that it is “appropriate and necessary” to regulate mercury and air toxics emissions.
“We support the Mercury Rule because cleaner air means better health, a better economy, and better jobs for residents for our states,” wrote the Senators. “It makes no sense to take any action that could lead to the weakening of mercury emission standards.”
“As a result of the Mercury Rule, power plants are emitting nearly 90 percent less mercury than a decade ago and we are already seeing the public health benefits,” the Senators continued. “In short, the Mercury Rule works and we urge EPA to withdraw its proposal to revoke the ‘appropriate and necessary’ finding and ensure there are no future changes that would undermine the Mercury Rule.”
Earlier this year, Senators Collins and Carper reintroduced the Comprehensive National Mercury Monitoring Act, a bipartisan bill that would establish a national mercury monitoring network to protect human health, safeguard fisheries, and track the environmental effects of emissions reductions. The Senators previously introduced this bill in August 2018.
Click HERE to read the letter.