The American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine (ACOEM) has joined the American Heart Association, the American Lung Association, and other leading organizations to formally oppose S.J. Res. 37, a resolution by Senator James Inhofe (R-Okla) that employs the Congressional Review Act to reverse the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) Mercury and Air Toxics Standards for Power Plants.
If enacted, S.J. Res. 37 would not only nullify the EPA's life-saving standards, but would permanently block EPA from issuing any "substantially similar" mercury and air toxics protections in the future without express Congressional authorization.
ACOEM was one of more than a dozen health organizations that signed on to a letter sent to U.S. Senators urging a "no" vote on Sen. Inhofe's resolution, which the letter said "would leave millions of Americans permanently at risk from toxic air pollution from power plants that directly threaten pulmonary, cardiovascular and neurological health and development."
The letter notes that Sen. Inhofe's legislation would overturn vital regulations that are needed to reduce toxic pollutants from coal- and oil-fired power plants. EPA estimates provisions in the Mercury and Air Toxics Standards for Power Plants would save up to 11,000 lives each year, while preventing thousands of heart attacks, asthma attacks and hospital visits.
According to EPA, the standards that Sen. Inhofe's bill seeks to nullify would eliminate more than 90 percent of mercury emissions from power plants - a significant step forward in protecting public health from the debilitating effects mercury can cause, especially in unborn children.