Florida and Georgia are number three and nine respectively on the list of states with the most toxic pollution from power plants. A study done my the Natural Resources Defense Council found that nearly half of all the toxic air pollution reported from industrial sources in the United States comes from coal- and oil-fired power plants. This study used publicly available data in the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) Toxic Release Inventory (TRI).
Climate Center Director Dan Lashof says these power plants are "putting children and families at risk by dumping deadly and dangerous poisons into the air we breathe." Furthermore, he says that "tougher standards are long overdue."
EPA is making an effort to reduce air pollution, but members of congress and some of the polluters are trying to pass amendments to stop EPA's measures. Last week, two house committees voted for amendments by Ed Whitfield (R-KY), Mike Ross (D-AR), and Cynthia Lummis (R-WY) to block for at least a year the EPA's mercury and air toxic standard. These amendments could move to the floor as early as this week.
Community members weigh in on the debate. Florida State University student Patrick McClenathan says, "I think it's important that the EPA takes steps to reduce the amount of air pollution, but they also need to work to push a cheaper, accessible option." Another FSU student, Trey Ware says, "From the sun we can harness just about as much energy as we can from coal and oil power plants, it's just a matter of getting the technology cost effective."
EPA is taking public comments through August 4th to help them finalize their proposal. To submit your comment go to http://www.epa.gov/airquality/powerplanttoxics/
To see the analysis "Toxic Power: How Power Plants Contaminate our Air and States" refer to the following website: http://docs.nrdc.org/air/air_11072001.asp