Webinar | Going to the MATS: Experts Discuss EPA Proposal Weakening Mercury and Air Toxics Standards

March 4, 2019 @ 2:00 pm – 3:00 pm America/New York Timezone

The Funders’ Network is cosponsoring this webinar along with the Environmental Grantmakers Association, Climate and Energy Funders Group, and the Health and Environmental Funders Group.

Funders are invited to the webinar, Going to the MATS: What’s at stake and at play for health, climate, environmental regulation, and environmental justice in response to Trump EPA proposed rule changes The webinar will be held on March 4 from 2-3 p.m ET / 11 a.m.- noon PT.

In 2012, the Obama administration issued a Mercury and Air Toxics Standards (MATS) requiring power plants to significantly reduce their emissions of mercury, arsenic, particulate matter, and other toxic air pollution. The MATS rule had big impacts. Energy utilities invested billions in pollution-control equipment like scrubbers and shut down older coal-fired power plants, accelerating reductions in climate-forcing carbon emissions. Mercury pollution in communities living near coal plants – disproportionately affecting people of color and poor people — dropped over 85% nationwide. Pregnant women, children, and people with respiratory problems had less exposure to neurotoxins and particulate matter, cutting billions in health care cost, and preventing over 11,000 premature deaths and approximately 130,000 asthma attacks each year.

Now the Trump administration’s Environmental Protection Agency is proposing changes to the MATS rule that could undermine the inclusion of health co-benefits when regulators calculate costs and benefits of environmental regulations. The proposal threatens numerous public interests and – in part because of those varied stakes – presents a significant unusual relationship- and power-building opportunity.

Karen Harris of the John Merck Fund will moderate a facilitated discussion with expert speakers:

  • Lyndsay Alexander, Healthy Air Campaign, American Lung Association
  • Phyllis Cuttino, Climate Action Campaign
  • Conrad Schneider, Clean Air Task Force
  • Kerene Tayloe, We ACT for Environmental Justice

See related resources.