EPA proposes easing regulation of mercury from coal plants

Posted at 5:14 PM, Dec 28, 2018
and last updated 2018-12-28 18:14:14-05

WASHINGTON (AP) – The Environmental Protection Agency is considering backing off of its regulation of toxic mercury emissions from coal-fired power plants.

In an announcement Friday, the EPA proposes what would be another Trump administration rollback of federal enforcement under the Clean Air Act. It’s the latest administration effort on behalf of the country’s coal industry.

Coal-fired power plants are the largest single source of mercury pollution. Mercury harms the developing nervous systems of children and causes other severe health damage.

Environmental groups say federal and state limits have helped cut mercury emissions from power plants by 85 percent since 2006.

But the new EPA finding would conclude it’s not “appropriate” for the agency to regulate the toxic emissions.

Environmental groups fear the move is a step toward rolling back toxic-emissions standards for coal-fired plants.