After more than twenty years, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has finally introduced safeguards against mercury and other air toxins from industrial sources like coal plants. In Texas, coal plants are responsible for over 70% of annual mercury emissions. This rule is decades overdue, but it means that some of the country’s dirtiest industries will finally have to clean up their act.
Texas leads the nation in mercury emissions from coal plants. Six of the top ten mercury-emitting coal plants are in Texas, and the coal plant owned by the City of Austin and LCRA, the Fayette Coal Plant, is in the top 50. That plant has already been shown to causegroundwater contamination from its coal ash waste, and it is estimated that the air pollution from Fayette contributes to about 37 premature deaths every year. The sulfur emissions from that plant have killed thousands of pecan trees throughout the region, ruining the livelihood and way of life for hundreds of multi-generational pecan farmers. The City of Austin has already expressed its desire to get rid of this dirty polluter as the entire city council has already signed a pledge to move beyond coal.
It is time for Texas to stop ignoring the effects these facilities have on us all and to commend, instead of condemn, the EPA’s efforts to hold them accountable. Please lend your voice of support to EPA and President Obama on their recent implementation of these important new safeguards.
For more information on the fight against the Fayette coal plant visitFayettePowerProject.com.
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