Monday, June 12, 2017

The Donald's EPA caught illegally rescinding Mercury rule

One of The Donald's first acts after purchasing the White House in January was:
"to “immediately withdraw” final rules sent to the Office of the Federal Register but not yet published in the Federal Register."
Although not yet under Pruitt's despotism, the TEPA (Trump's EPA) rescinded the Mercury Effluent Rule, which had been finalized December 15, 2016.  The EPA is required to give public notice and an opportunity to comment, but did not.

The National Resources Defense Council acted quickly and sued the EPA for acting illegally and potentially putting millions at risk.  Mercury is a neurotoxin and dental offices are the main source of mercury discharges to municipal wastewater treatment plants, since excess amalgam from new cavitgy fillings or old amalgam fillings being replaced are flushed down the drain.   However, coal-fired power plants (quelle surprise!) industrial boilers, and cement plants and mining sites can discharge mercury into the environment.

Mercury is especially dangerous to pregnant women, babies and toddlers.  Even tiny amounts of exposure can disrupt brain function and harm the nervous system.  The Mercury Effluent Rule reduces the annual discharge of mercury by 5.1 tons to publicly owned WWTPs.  And dental offices are in support of this rule.  Mercury is hard to remove from wastewater streams so this is why it is so important to stem the discharge of the metal to the environment.

What part of this does The Donald and Pruitt not understand?

Fortunately, the NRDC was successful and June 9, the EPA restored the rule.

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