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Move to Undo Protections from Mercury Pollution
Environmental Resource Center ^ | 1/10/11

Posted on 01/11/2011 10:46:30 AM PST by EBH

House Republicans have announced a Congressional Review Act resolution that seeks to undo EPA rules to control toxic emissions from cement plants. The rules would reduce cement plants’ emissions of mercury and other toxic substances by more than 90%. EPA scientists have estimated the rules would prevent up to 2,500 premature deaths and thousands of heart and respiratory incidents and save billions of dollars in health costs each year.

“Without these important EPA rules, our families will continue to be exposed to mercury and other toxic pollution from the Lafarge plant in Ravena, New York,” said Susan Falzon, with Friends of Hudson. “It sickens me that some of our elected leaders are trying to remove these protections.”

The EPA’s finalized protective standards for cement kiln emissions would:

* Cut mercury emissions by 16,600 pounds, roughly 92% * Cut particulate matter emissions by 11,500 tons, roughly 92% * Cut hydrogen chloride emissions by 5,800 tons, roughly 97% * Cut total hydrocarbons emissions by 10,600 tons, roughly 83%

Mercury is a dangerous neurotoxicant that can build up through the food chain and interfere with the brain and other parts of the nervous system, resulting in birth defects, loss of IQ, and developmental problems. Particulate matter causes serious health impacts on lungs and breathing, including decreased lung function, aggravated asthma, irritation of the airways, coughing or difficulty in breathing, as well as heart problems. Hydrogen chloride also causes respiratory problems such as coughing, irritated nose and throat, and heart problems.

“These new EPA rules mean less death and disease from pollution in communities hosting dirty kilns,” said Becky Bornhorst, chair of Downwinders at Risk. “The cement industry wants you to believe meeting the new regulations will drive them out of business, but that is simply not true.”

“Local communities were promised these protections by Congress when it passed amendments to the Clean Air Act 20 years ago,” said Jane Williams of Desert Citizens Against Pollution. “This new Congress should not roll back those protections and renege on that promise.”

“House Republicans should be ashamed of themselves,” said Kelly Stryker with Stop Titan Action Network.

“Instead of protecting the most vulnerable members of our community, our kids, the elderly and the poor, they are pandering to the cement industry, one of the nation’s biggest polluters. In my community of Wilmington, North Carolina, Titan Cement wants to build one of the nation’s largest mercury emitting cement plants adjacent to a mercury impaired river and within two miles of our community’s elementary and middle schools.”

“The House resolution places thousands of American families at risk,” said Jennifer Peterson, attorney with the Environmental Integrity Project. “Cement kilns are among the top mercury polluters in many states, and the long overdue EPA rules will protect Americans by drastically reducing mercury and other harmful pollution.”

“The first, most important concern should be people’s health,” said Neil Carman of the Sierra Club’s Lone Star Chapter in Austin, Texas. “Cement kilns are major sources of toxic pollution known to cause cancer and a host of other serious health problems. Families living near these massive polluters can not afford to have politics get in the way of much needed protections.”

Earthjustice filed a lawsuit in 2004 to compel the EPA to act on mercury and other air pollution from cement kilns and is currently intervening on behalf of the EPA to protect these standards from industry attack.


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Extended News; Government; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: environment; mercury; pollution
Texas again....
1 posted on 01/11/2011 10:46:35 AM PST by EBH
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To: EBH

If the EPA is so worried about mercury, why isn’t filling our homes with mercury containing CFLs not a problem>


2 posted on 01/11/2011 10:51:13 AM PST by The Great RJ (The Bill of Rights: Another bill members of Congress haven't read.)
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To: EBH
Well then enviros - you'd better ban mercury bulbs.

mercury bulb

The time mercury is MOST dangerous is when hot. So what do they do? Put it in a darn lightbulb & put current through it.

I knew someone who had a mercury vacuum pump. It exploded. He tried to get out of the building, but he breathed a tiny bit before he got out. He had a parkinsons-like tremor for the rest of his life.

If one of those bulbs explodes, I would personally RUN OUT OF THE HOUSE. And wait 30 minutes to make sure there was no gaseous mercury in the air.
3 posted on 01/11/2011 10:53:09 AM PST by Christian Engineer Mass (Capitol Hill operator 866-727-4894 toll free. Just say which Representative/Senator you want to spea)
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To: EBH

Now we can buy our cement from the same folks who make our (mandated) curlicue light bulbs.


4 posted on 01/11/2011 11:01:20 AM PST by Roccus
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To: Christian Engineer Mass
Well then enviros - you'd better ban mercury bulbs.

But they can't, because it's for the children.

5 posted on 01/11/2011 11:13:26 AM PST by wastedyears (It has nothing to do with safety, and everything to do with control.)
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To: EBH
Instead of protecting the most vulnerable members of our community, our kids, the elderly and the poor, they are pandering to the cement industry...

Translation: If you don't instantly agree you're a horrible capitalist monster.


6 posted on 01/11/2011 11:19:03 AM PST by BitWielder1 (Corporate Profits are better than Government Waste)
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To: EBH

Well, I don’t know the details, but I suspect that if you breathed the smoke for a thousand years, you might get mercury poisoning.


7 posted on 01/11/2011 11:31:53 AM PST by Cicero (Marcus Tullius)
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