E.P.A. Proposes New Emission Standards for Power Plants

The Environmental Protection Agency on Wednesday proposed the first national standard for emissions of mercury and other pollutants from coal-burning power plants, a rule that could lead to the early closing of a number of older plants and one that is certain to be challenged by the some utilities and Republicans in Congress.

Lisa P. Jackson, the agency's administrator, said control of dozens of poisonous substances emitted by power plants was long overdue and would prevent thousands of deaths and tens of thousands of cases of disease a year.

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