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VICTORY: ATLANTIC COAST PROTECTED FROM OFFSHORE DRILLING

The Atlantic Coast won a major victory when the Obama administration abandoned its plans to open the southern Atlantic to offshore oil and gas drilling for the first time in decades. Leading up to the announcement, Environment America and colleagues presented Obama officials with letters signed by more than 1,000 East Coast businesses opposed to the drilling proposal.

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Patrick-Murray Administration Announces 91 Percent Reduction in Toxic Mercury Air Emissions

The Patrick-Murray Administration today announced that toxic mercury air emissions in Massachusetts have fallen by 91 percent since 1996, greatly exceeding the original goal of 75 percent, according to a study released by the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP). The reductions have been accomplished in part by the Administration's comprehensive efforts targeting mercury pollution from municipal waste combustors, coal-fired power plants, mercury-added products and other sources. To continue the progress in this area, Massachusetts will need strong federal and international actions similar to what has been accomplished in the Northeast. In particular, a proposed federal rule by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency would be a major step forward, by greatly reducing mercury pollution from coal-fired power plants across the country. Massachusetts' state rule for coal-fired plants is already more stringent than the proposed federal mercury limits, but the federal rule, if implemented, would be an important step forward in reducing toxic mercury transported on the winds from Midwest and Southeast states and deposited from the air into Massachusetts.

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Report | Environment Massachusetts

America's Biggest Mercury Polluters:

Power plants continue to release large amounts of toxic pollutants, including mercury, into our air. In 2010, two-thirds of all airborne mercury pollution in the United States came from the smokestacks of coal-fired power plants. In other words, power plants generate more airborne mercury pollution than all other industrial sources combined.*

Mercury is a potent neurotoxicant. Mercury exposure during critical periods of brain development can contribute to irreversible deficits in verbal skills, damage to attention and motor control, and reduced IQ.

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Report | Environment Massachusetts

Toxic Waterways:

 Coal-fired power plants are the single largest source of mercury pollution in the United States. Emissions from these plants eventually make their way into Massachusetts’ waterways, contaminating fish and wildlife. Many of Massachusetts’ waterways are under advisory because of mercury contamination. Eating contaminated fish is the main source of human exposure to mercury. Mercury pollution poses enormous public health threats.

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Springfield smoggiest Mass. city in 2010

The nonprofit Environment Massachusetts has released a new report showing that Springfield residents were exposed to air pollution that exceeded federal safety standards on a total of five days last year.  

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