21 Dec 2011:
New Power Plant Rules
Are Unveiled by Obama Administration
The head of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has unveiled long-awaited rules for the nation's 1,400 coal- and oil-fired power plants that will require much tougher pollution control equipment to reduce emissions of mercury, acid gases, and particulate matter
. At a press conference in Washington, D.C., EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson announced the new rules, which the agency says will annually prevent up to 17,000 premature deaths, 11,000 heart attacks, and 120,000 asthma attacks
. The EPA also maintains that the new rules will return financial and health benefits many times their $11 billion annual cost, including the creation of 9,000 new jobs as coal-fired power plants install pollution-scrubbing systems or build cleaner natural gas plants. Power generators will have several years to install the new pollution control equipment, which the EPA says will slash mercury emissions by 90 percent. But some utilities and Republican members of Congress have warned that the new rules will place an onerous burden on power producers, leading to the shutdown of some power plants, a loss of jobs, and possible interruptions in power supplies.
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Photographer Robert Wintner documents the exquisite beauty and biodiversity of Cuba’s unspoiled coral reefs. View the gallery.
is now available for mobile devices at e360.yale.edu/mobile
The Warriors of Qiugang
, a Yale Environment 360
video, chronicles a Chinese village’s fight against a polluting chemical plant. It was nominated for a 2011 Academy Award for Best Documentary Short.
Watch the video.
Top Image: aerial view of Iceland
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A three-part series Tainted Harvest
looks at the soil pollution crisis in China, the threat it poses to the food supply, and the complexity of any cleanup. Read the series.