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Experts to Discuss Benefits to Kansas City Metro Area from EPA's Proposed Standards for Mercury, Air Toxics Pollution from Power Plants

Release Date: 03/21/2011
Contact Information: David Bryan, 913-551-7433, bryan.david@epa.gov


MEDIA ADVISORY

(Kansas City, Kan., March 21, 2011) - EPA Regional Administrator Karl Brooks will host a news conference with local environmental and health officials on Tuesday, March 22, in Kansas City, Mo., to discuss potential benefits to the metro area from EPA’s recently proposed national standards for mercury and air toxics pollution from power plants.

The Agency is proposing a new rule that represents one of the strongest protections from air pollution since the passage of the Clean Air Act. The new standards, designed to eliminate 20 years of uncertainty across the power industry, would require many power plants to install widely available, proven pollution control technologies to cut harmful emissions of mercury, arsenic, chromium, nickel and acid gases, while preventing as many as 17,000 premature deaths and 11,000 heart attacks nationally each year.

Surrounding Kansas City, there are currently at least six power plants operating in an nine-county region (Douglas, Johnson, Leavenworth, Miami and Wyandotte counties in Kansas; Cass, Clay, Jackson and Platte counties in Missouri) that would be subject to the proposed emissions standards.

Toxic air pollutants like mercury from coal-and oil-fired power plants have been shown to cause neurological damage, including lower IQ, in children exposed in the womb and during early development. The standards also address emissions of other toxic metals linked with cancer such as arsenic, chromium and nickel. Mercury and many of the other toxic pollutants also damage the environment and pollute our nation’s lakes, streams and fish. In addition, cutting these toxic pollutants also reduces fine particle pollution, which causes premature death, heart disease, workdays lost to illness and asthma.

At Tuesday’s news conference, EPA Regional Administrator Brooks and others will discuss potential benefits of the proposed standards for the metro area. Brooks will be joined by:

    • Dr. Rex Archer - Director of Health, City of Kansas City, Missouri
    • Dr. Jennifer Lowry - Pediatrician, Clinical Pharmacologist and Medical Toxicologist, Children’s Mercy Hospitals & Clinics; and Director to the Region 7 Pediatric Environmental Health Specialty Unit (PEHSU)
    • Joe Conner - Director of Public Health, Unified Government of Wyandotte County and Kansas City, Kan.
WHAT: News conference to discuss EPA’s proposed mercury and air toxics standards for power plants

WHEN: 1:30 p.m., Tuesday, March 22, 2011

WHERE: Conference Room 2B, Kansas City Health Department, 2400 Troost, Kansas City, Mo. 64108
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For more information about EPA’s proposed standards for mercury and air toxics pollution from power plants: www.epa.gov/airquality/powerplanttoxics/