“It reaffirms their prior determination which was, indeed, this is a very cost-effective way to very significantly reduce a whole host of very dangerous air pollutants,” says McCahan.
The EPA estimated that, nationwide, the new standards would have about $90 billion a year in health benefits, preventing up to 11,000 premature deaths, 4,700 heart attacks and 130,000 asthma attacks annually.
New York has few coal-fired power plants left in operation and Gov. Andrew Cuomo has said those that remain will be retired by the year 2020. But McCahan points out pollution doesn’t obey state boundaries.
“And New York is downwind of many states in the Midwest and elsewhere that have a lot of coal-fired power plants,” he says. “That are emitting significant amounts of this smokestack pollution.”
He says power plants are responsible for half of all mercury emissions in the United States.
PHOTO: OPower plants are responsible for half of all U.S. mercury emissions. Photo Credit: Tony Webster/flickr.com.
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