Snap Fact #230
Obama’s Administration Finalizes Life-Saving Mercury and Air Toxics Standards!

Until December 21, 2011, there had been no federal standards that require power plants to limit their emissions of toxic air pollutants like mercury, arsenic and metals. 

This was true despite the availability of proven control technologies, and the more than 20 years since the 1990 Clean Air Act Amendments passed Congress and was signed by President G. H. W. Bush. 
Existing pollution sources generally will have up to 4 years, if they need it, to comply with the new standards. At a press conference in Washington, EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson said the regulation was the Obama administration's "biggest clean-air action yet," trumping a landmark agreement to double fuel-economy standards for vehicles and another rule that will reduce emissions from power plants that foul the air in states downwind. 

According to EPA estimates, the new safeguards will prevent as many as 11,000 premature deaths and 4,700 heart attacks a year. The standards will also help America’s children grow up healthier – preventing 130,000 cases of childhood asthma symptoms and about 6,300 fewer cases of acute bronchitis among children each year.