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In a suit  filed in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit on Oct. 23, the states, along with about 30 energy companies, unions, and associations, contend that the EPA ignored the heavy costs posed by the Utility MACT rule, an emissions regulation that would “effectively ban the construction of new plants by setting standards below measurable levels,” according to William Yeatman, an environmental regulations expert at the Competitive Enterprise Institute.
The savings may be substantially smaller than the $4 to $6 million estimate, since only a very small percentage of mercury emitted from coal plants ever settles on the continental United States, let alone its water sources, Yeatman said.
“They deemed the mercury levels dangerous by measuring the impact of mercury on a pregnant woman who consumes more than 220 pounds of fish that she, being a voracious angler, fishes from America’s most polluted rivers,” he said. “The EPA never identified whether any such woman exists, but they used it as the basis of these onerous regulations.”