WAMC News, North Country News
5:22 pm
Thu June 21, 2012

Senators Block Republican Move to Block Implementation of Pollution Rule

The U.S. Senate on Wednesday voted to back an Environmental Protection Agency rule that will control mercury and other air pollutants discharged from coal-fired power plants.

Fifty-three Senators moved to block a resolution offered by Senator James Inhofe that would have blocked implementation of the EPA mercury rule. Before the vote, Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders spoke in favor of the rule, saying it will create jobs, and improve the environment and human health.

American Lung Association of the Northeast Vice President for Public Policy and Communications Michael Seilback says the Senate has made a crucial move in blocking the Inhofe resolution.

Adirondack Council Legislative Director Scott Lorey is pleased that the Senate moved to maintain the Mercury and Air Toxics Standards rule.

Scott Lorey says if the rule is ultimately upheld there should be declines in health and environmental problems.

Mercury Policy Project Director Michael Bender believes it was important to send a clear message to polluters that the Mercury and Air Toxics Standards rule must be implemented.

According to the Mercury Policy Project, power plants in the U.S. are responsible for half of mercury emissions.