Washington (August 29, 2018) – Senator Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.), Chair of the Senate Climate Change Task Force and member of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, released the statement following news that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will be initiating federal review of the Obama-era proposal to determine whether the Mercury and Air Toxics Standards (MATS), a rule that restricts mercury and toxic air emissions from power plants, were “appropriate and necessary.” Power plant owners and operators have already invested an estimated $18 billion to comply with the mercury rule. For every dollar spent to reduce toxic air pollution from power plants, the EPA estimates that the American public would see up to $9 in benefits.


“When both the power industry and environmental groups are on the same side in support of an EPA rule, you’re going to be on the wrong side of history if it is weakened,” said Senator Markey. “Americans rely on the standards in the mercury rule to keep their families safe from cancer-causing pollutants like arsenic and toxic heavy metals. And states rely on these standards to meet air quality plans. Putting more pollution controls on coal plants was more than just appropriate or necessary, it was the right thing to do. These standards will save hundreds of thousands of American lives and will protect the public’s health, just as Congress intended under the Clean Air Act. Once again, President Trump is prioritizing polluters’ bottom lines over American lives and is using Andrew Wheeler and the EPA as his willing accomplices.”