Letters to the Editor

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MERCURY: Protect Washington’s kids from toxins

Letter by Kristina M. Dumas, Seattle on March 22, 2011 at 11:46 am | 4 Comments »
March 22, 2011 2:43 pm

In January, Environment Washington released a report examining mercury pollution from coal-fired power plants. Mercury is a potent toxic chemical that affects our children’s ability to walk, talk, read and write. Even a drop of mercury in our waterways is too much, and for decades coal-fired power plants have spewed tens of thousands of pounds of mercury into our air and water.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency recently proposed the “Mercury and Air Toxics Rule,” which will protect Washington’s kids – and all Washingtonians – from toxic mercury pollution. TransAlta, the state’s only coal-fired power plant, is set to install controls for mercury emissions that will comply with the new U.S. EPA’s rule.

Unfortunately, mercury and other air toxins do not confine themselves to state boundaries. Although Washington state is leading the way, it is critical that the EPA is supported in its work to protect the health of all Americans. Congressmen Adam Smith, Joe McDermott, Jay Inslee, Rick Larsen and Norm Dicks and senators Maria Cantwell and Patty Murray should be applauded for their commitment to protecting our health, and should again stand up for Washington’s kids and support the EPA’s Mercury and Air Toxics Rule.

(Dumas is a field associate with Environment Washington.)

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