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Interfaith Power & Light Celebrates EPA Finalization of Power Plant Pollution Rules

Apr 25, 2024 | Press Releases

For Immediate Release: April 25, 2024

Interfaith Power & Light Celebrates EPA Finalization of Power Plant Pollution Rules

Updated rules will protect our communities and Sacred Earth

Washington D.C. – On Thursday, APRIL 25, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced finalized standards for mercury and air toxics from power plants and industrial sources and carbon pollution, coal ash waste, and wastewater from power plants. 

“We celebrate today’s announcement and thank the EPA for finalizing these power plant standards, which is an important step towards caring for our communities and protecting our Sacred Earth,” said Rev. Susan Hendershot, President of Interfaith Power & Light. “This package of standards will clean up dirty power plants, improve the quality of our air and water, slash climate pollution, and protect the health of millions of people. 

“The carbon pollution standard for power plants will limit carbon pollution from existing coal-fired and new gas-powered power plants. 

“The updated Mercury and Air Toxics standard will reduce mercury and toxic air pollution from coal-fired power plants. This will, in turn, reduce the mercury released into the air we breathe, that falls into our waterways, and that accumulates in fish that our families eat.  

“The Coal Ash standard requires coal-burning power plants to clean up their toxic coal ash that pollutes our water and makes our communities sick. As increasing numbers of aging power plants retire, it is critical their coal ash disposal sites do not continue to contaminate groundwater. 

“The updated Effluent Limitations Guidelines standard will limit pollutants in wastewater discharge from coal-fired power plants, which can include mercury, toxic metals, and other dangerous chemicals.

We have a moral responsibility to care for our communities, our neighbors, and the environment, and we applaud the finalization of these standards that help us live into that responsibility.” 

“Coal power plants, including the nation’s two largest here in Georgia, continue to pollute our air and groundwater, affecting millions’ health,” said Codi Norred, Executive Director of Georgia Interfaith Power and Light (GIPL). “Strengthening air toxic standards, cleaning up unlined coal ash ponds, and limiting wastewater discharge from these plants will go a long way to improving the health of Georgians. We are grateful for the EPA’s work enacting these rules!”

“We are encouraged by the progress we’re seeing toward solving Pennsylvania’s air quality crisis,” said Katie Ruth, Executive Director of Pennsylvania Interfaith Power and Light. “As per the last report from the American Lung Association, both Lancaster and Pittsburgh have some of the worst air quality in the state.” “ These new standards will reduce carbon, coal ash, mercury, wastewater, and other toxic power plant pollution in Pennsylvania,” said Renika Weimer, Advocacy and Outreach Manager of Pennsylvania Interfaith Power and Light. “We’re hopeful that  our institutions will continue to do more to advance environmental justice in Pennsylvania and across our Sacred Earth!” 

Media Contact: Jessica Quinn, jessica@interfaithpowerandlight.org

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About Interfaith Power & Light: Interfaith Power & Light (IPL) is a national organization that inspires and mobilizes people of faith and conscience to take bold and just action on climate change. IPL works in all 50 states and U.S. territories with a broad national network of state- and regional-level affiliates.

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