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The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is gearing up to finalize a dangerous rule that undermines the successful Mercury and Air Toxics Standards. This egregious rule claims that it’s no longer necessary to limit mercury emissions and other toxic pollutants from power plants.

As a family nurse practitioner, I learned early on in my training about the harm mercury can have on health. Health professionals are in a position to see these impacts firsthand in their patients. This potent neurotoxin is emitted into the air we breathe, falls into our waterways, and accumulates in the fish we eat. At high levels, it causes permanent damage to the brains of babies and unborn children, leading to developmental delays and birth defects. The Mercury and Air Toxics Standards have dramatically reduced mercury pollution, and also limit other pollutants from power plants that can cause cancer, harm the lungs, and kill, among other harmful health effects.

There is no question we need to limit mercury emissions and other toxic pollutants from power plants. The current Mercury and Air Toxics Standards have effectively cleaned up dirty pollution and we have healthier babies and cleaner air to breathe here in Montana as a result.

For the sake of our children’s health, I call on the Administration to listen to the science and keep the current standards in place.

Valerie Beebe, FNP-BC, MSN

Kalispell

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