Minnesotans gathered outside of the Environmental Protection Agency office in Duluth today to thank the agency for issuing strong new mercury pollution safeguards. They presented a large thank you card signed by local Duluthians and a banner made by Girl Scout Troop 12965. In December, the EPA finalized strong public health safeguards to limit mercury and other toxic pollution from coal power plants.
“The Sierra Club, and parents like me across Minnesota, applaud the President and EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson for their courage and resolve in protecting Minnesota families – particularly women and children – from this dangerous toxin and for standing up to polluters’ attempts to weaken this life-saving protection,” said John Doberstein (pictured above), local dad and Sierra Club member.
Mercury is a dangerous brain poison that poses a particular threat to prenatal babies and young children. Exposure in the bloodstreams of pregnant and nursing women can result in birth defects like learning disabilities, lowered IQ, deafness, blindness and cerebral palsy.
“There are many coal plants across Minnesota that release dangerous levels of mercury,” said Kate Mensing (pictured above), University of Minnesota-Duluth student. “We thank President Obama and the EPA for the peace of mind that now these plants will not polluting our water and air with this dangerous poison anymore.”