Mercury and Air Toxics Standards (MATS) Part III: Ecology

According to the Hidden Risk Report, a publication from the Biodiversity Research Institute in partnership with The Nature Conservancy, “invertivores” are greatly affected by mercury emissions from coal-fired power plants.  Songbirds and bats are referred to as invertivores because they eat a variety of invertebrate species like spiders, snails and worms; not just insects.  Invertivores [...]

Mercury and Air Toxics Standards (MATS) Part II: Air Pollution Victims

Senator Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) called air pollution victims “unidentified and imaginary” (Browning).  In reality, air pollution victims are quite real. Coal combustion in the nation releases approximately 48 tons of mercury each year.  Mercury is a neurotoxin causing mental retardation and lost productivity (in terms of IQ decline).  According to Trasande et. al, direct costs [...]

Mercury and Air Toxics Standards (MATS) Series Part I: Overview

Environmental policies are systemically intertwined with science, politics, economics and history.  Effective environmental policies improve public health, environmental justice concerns and take flora and fauna into consideration.  Beyond law and regulation, there is a feedback loop between environmental policy and environmental advocacy.  Advocates may push for new legislation or new legislation may empower advocates.  In [...]

Mountaintop Removal in Appalachia

The Appalachian region of the United States, extending from southern New York to northern Mississippi, is home to more than 25 million people in 420 counties across 13 states.  The majority of the Appalachian population is poor whites dispersed over large rural areas.  The Appalachian economy is extremely reliant on mountaintop removal (MTR) mining, despite [...]