Mercury pollution has devastating impacts on children and pregnant women, with 1 in 10 women in the US of childbearing age having potentially dangerous levels of mercury in their bodies. Coal-fired plants emit almost three quarters of all air emissions in the U.S. This mercury pollution become airborne and eventually ends up in waterways, contaminating fish. The Mercury and Air Toxic Standards created by EPA in 2011 was designed to address this environmental hazard and according to EPA's own projections, the mercury standard has saved upward of 17,000 lives per year. Despite this success, the EPA is proposing to modify MATS, making the standards weaker. EPA is taking public comments on their proposal to revise the Mercury and Air Toxics Standards. Submit your comments below. Clergy and religious leaders can sign here.
Make Your Voice Heard With EPA
Dear Acting Administrator Wheeler,
As a person of faith I am writing to oppose EPA's proposal to weaken the Mercury and Air Toxic Standards. Mercury has devastating impacts on children and pregnant women and is linked to damage of lungs, kidneys, heart and brain.
Faith traditions teach us the importance not only of protecting God's creation from environmental hazards like mercury pollution, but also urge us to care for vulnerable populations. Mercury pollution disproportionately impacts people of color and lower income families.
A weakening of the Mercury standards would not only harm human health, particularly vulnerable populations, but would also be detrimental to God's earth. Weakening the standards does not fulfill EPA's mission to protect human health and the environment and will not protect the common good.
In response to EPA's announcement that it would revise the Mercury and Air Toxic Standards, the Evangelical Environmental Network issued a statement.
More than 20 faith groups letter responded to the news that EPA would revise the Mercury standards and urged Acting Administrator Wheeler to reverse course.