At a telepress conference held Thursday Michigan environmental groups raised concerns about what they say is a loosening of the EPA’s Mercury and Air Toxic standards.
The new EPA rule does not remove mercury regulations, but it does change how the costs and benefits to power plants for complying with mercury regulations are calculated.
Lisa Wozniak is with the Michigan League of Conservation Voters. She said the shift shows the EPA is trying to weaken air pollution protections.
“They’re basically opening the door for the coal industry to undermine the current rule and legally increase the release of mercury and other harmful pollutants into our air and water.”
Kindra Weid is with MI Air, MI Health. She said pollution has significant negative impacts on health, particularly in communities of color.
“Relaxing the enforcement of regulations on mercury and other pollutants in the middle of a global pandemic is very irresponsible and will have a dire impact and public health.”
A spokesperson with the EPA called the fears a “misrepresentation.” They said there will be no additional mercury or any other hazardous air pollutants emitted into the air than before.