news releases

30 April 2024

Hispanic Access Statement on the EPA’s Final Standards to Clean Up the Power Sector, Cutting Carbon and Mercury Pollution, Limiting Coal Ash and Water Pollution from Power Plants

Category: News Releases

On April 25, 2024 the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released a suite of four pollution rules that will reduce climate, land and air pollution and protect public health for all communities. In response, Maite Arce, president and CEO of Hispanic Access Foundation, released the following statement:

“We celebrate the EPA’s four carbon pollution power plant rules. These final rules strengthen and update Mercury and Air Toxics standards, reduce pollutants released in watersheds, standardize safe management of coal ash and control carbon pollution from existing coal-fired plants and new natural gas-fired plants.

“Limiting pollution from fossil fuel power plants which has a direct impact on the livelihoods of Latino communities across the U.S. Latinos disproportionately suffer the consequences of air and water pollutants both financially and in their health. Recent decades have seen a rise in air and water pollutants in areas surrounding fossil fuel plants. Over 56 million Latino Americans live, work and play in ground-level polluted areas typically located near fossil fuel power plants. Additionally, Latinos face ongoing concerns over contaminated water supplies due to dysfunctional regulatory frameworks or inadequate safeguards in these areas.

“These EPA rules not only address historic inequities and injustices for Latinos and other communities of color, it is a major step toward protecting the lives and health of Latinos and future generations across the nation.”

The new carbon emissions regulation will apply to existing coal plants and new natural gas plants. Coal plants that plan to operate beyond 2039 will have to capture 90 percent of their carbon emissions by 2032. The revised Mercury and Air Toxic Standards cuts the mercury by 70 percent for power plants fired by lignite coal. The rule is also projected to cut about 660 million pounds of pollutants discharged in wastewater from coal plants per year.

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