A key protection from mercury, arsenic and other toxic emissions is under attack.

On Dec. 27, Trump’s Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released its efforts to weaken the Mercury and Air Toxics Standards (MATS). These standards protect the public by limiting emissions of mercury, arsenic and other toxic substances from coal- and oil-burning power plants. By the EPA's own projections, the MATS rule saves more than 17,000 lives per year.

“EPA’s move to weaken toxic mercury protections is misguided and reckless," said Stephanie Wein of PennEnvironment’s Water and Conservation campaign. "It ignores scientific consensus and strikes the underlying research from the record, weakening the MATS rule and hampering future efforts to curb toxic emissions.”

The proposed changes and instructions for submitting public comments can be found on the EPA's website.

Photo: Cooling Towers at Homer City Generating Station. Credit: Hepcat748 via Wikimedia Commons CC BY-SA 3.0.