LCV Statements on Trump Administration Undermining Mercury and Air Toxics Standards

Contact: Emily Samsel, emily_samsel@lcv.org, 828-713-9647

Washington, D.C. — With Trump EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler expected to release the final rule undermining the Mercury and Air Toxics Standards (MATS), the League of Conservation Voters (LCV) issued the following statements:

LCV Board Chair and former EPA administrator Carol M. Browner, who led the EPA when the agency began the Mercury and Air Toxics Standards regulatory process, said:

“The EPA’s actions to undermine the mercury pollution standard is a double threat to our health. First it will increase mercury and other neurotoxins and carcinogens in our air and exacerbate air pollution at a time when we are fighting a global pandemic that preys on people with respiratory health challenges. And second, the decision is a sinister trojan horse policy change that will undermine how the EPA considers science and evaluates economic benefits of regulations in the future. It’s a disgraceful decision coming on the heels of other poor decisions on air quality at a time we can least afford it.”

LCV Legislative Director and former EPA health scientist Matthew Davis, who reviewed how mercury impacts babies’ brain development as part of the MATS regulatory process at the EPA, said:

“This is a horrific signal from the Trump administration that our children, especially children of color, are not worth protecting. This move could once again expose communities, particularly communities of color and those just scraping by, to dangerous levels of mercury pollution — causing permanent damage to the brains of babies and developing fetuses, leading to developmental delays, learning disabilities, and birth defects. It is beyond the pale that undermining the lifesaving Mercury and Air Toxics Standards and future scientific analyses is just the latest on a long list of attacks on our air and our health the Trump administration has put forward during the coronavirus crisis.”

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