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May 23, 2011

Speak Out For Mercury Safeguards at EPA's Hearings

Hazel and Mary Anne Hitt This is a big week for public input for the Environmental Protection Agency's proposed safeguards against mercury and other air toxics spewed out by coal-fired power plants.

EPA is holding three public hearings - two on Tuesday (in Chicago and Philly) and one on Thursday (Atlanta) - so people like you and me can make sure the agency knows how important it is to have strong protections against toxic pollutants such as mercury.

The Sierra Club and our allies will be out in force at all three hearings, complete with rallies, press conferences, and even a march of moms with kids in strollers. Mercury is toxic and is especially a threat to children, babies, and babies-on-the-way. Mercury exposure can cause neurological and developmental problems like learning disabilities.

And it's not just parents and grand-parents who should care - if you're an avid angler, how tired are you of all the advisories against eating the fish you catch? All 50 states have advisory warnings against eating certain fish because of mercury contamination. Cleaning up mercury means safer fish.

Right now, there are no national limits on the amount of air toxics that power plants can spew into the air.

EPA mercury standards will also help our economy. New protections can reduce the costs of health care for people sick from toxic pollution and create jobs installing pollution-control equipment on power plants.

We need the EPA to protect us from mercury pollution with national limits for power plants. We've had enough of polluters and their disregard for our health and environment. Dirty energy corporations are putting their bottom lines before our children's health.  We need the EPA to hold Big Coal and corporate polluters accountable.

If you're in any of the three cities (or nearby!) for the hearings, will you join us? We need people out en masse to tell the EPA that we need better standards to protect us from life-threatening pollution that power plants spew into our air and water.

And if you're not in or near any of these cities, you can still help by emailing in your comment.

Stay tuned - later this week I'll post a wrap-up of how the hearings went.

-- Mary Anne Hitt, Director of the Sierra Club Beyond Coal Campaign

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