Friday, 22 March, 2019

The EPA Proposed Changing How It Calculates Regulatory Health Benefits

EPA says ‘not necessary’ for coal plants to comply with mercury limits EPA proposes easing regulation of mercury from coal plants
Doris Mccormick | 31 December, 2018, 17:14

The Trump administration will consider abolishing a regulation that has helped to dramatically reduce mercury pollution from coal-fired power stations, saying the costs outweigh the health benefits.

"Once again, the Trump administration is acting in a way that will adversely affect the health and safety of those living from coast to coast". In a statement, she said the warming climate, for example, might affect mercury's impact on the environment but the EPA's proposal could make it harder to address that.

"The Trump Administration is providing regulatory certainty by transparently and accurately taking account of both costs and benefits", the EPA said in a news release Friday.

With this action, EPA is also setting a unsafe precedent that a federal agency - charged with protecting the environment and public health - will no longer factor in all the clear health, environmental and economics benefits of clean air policies, such as reducing cancer and birth defects. But it further justified the regulation by citing an additional $80 billion in health benefits a year by, among other things, preventing the 11,000 premature deaths.

Mercury exposure is linked to developmental disorders and respiratory illnesses. In a letter to the EPA last summer, utilities and regulatory and labor groups said mercury emissions had been reduced by almost 90 percent over the past decade.

It took 21 years before the EPA finalized the Mercury and Air Toxics Standards for coal-fired power plants.

Midwestern blizzards dump big post-holiday snow on Minnesota, Dakotas
Eastern Nebraska will start to see snow in the Thursday morning hours with the heaviest snow coming down between 6 AM and 3 PM. Much of the Dakotas and part of Minnesota were under a blizzard warning after many areas got a foot of snow or more Thursday.


Chelsea boss Sarri explains management of Hudson-Odoi for Watford victory
Hudson-Odoi has made just one Premier League appearance for the Blues this season though has featured four times in Cup competitions.


Seven People Arrested For Helping Suspected Newman Cop Killer Escape Police
The announcement of arrests comes after a statewide manhunt for the suspect accused of killing Mr Singh the day after Christmas. The case inflamed the debate over immigration because authorities say Perez Arriaga had crossed into the USA illegally.


Critics worry that revising the way the costs and health benefits of regulations are calculated could undermine the justification for a range of other environmental rules as well, possibly making them more vulnerable to legal challenge.

However, the EPA said it will seek comment during a 60-day public-review period on whether "we would be obligated to rescind" the Obama-era rule if the agency adopts Friday's finding that the regulation was not appropriate and necessary. For that reason, the original rule argued against using a strict cost-benefit analysis to decide whether the regulation should be imposed, said Joseph Goffman, executive director of Harvard Law School's Environmental and Energy Law Program.

A study published this month by Harvard University's School of Public Health said coal-fired power plants are the top source of mercury in the United States, accounting for almost half of mercury emissions in 2015.

The new proposal fundamentally changes that approach.

"The administrator has concluded that the identification of these benefits is not sufficient, in light of the gross imbalance of monetized costs", the EPA announcement read. This is public health benefits.

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