Emissions from coal-fired power plant

A proposed rule from EPA sets limits on emissions of carbon dioxide, the primary greenhouse gas pollutant, from new coal-fired power plants. Photo courtesy iStockphoto

A new standard to protect public health from carbon pollution and the impacts of climate change is now open for public comment.

The rule, initially proposed by the Environmental Protection Agency in September, sets the first uniform national limits on the amount of carbon pollution that future power plants will be allowed to emit. Power plants are the nation’s largest source of carbon pollution, a leading contributor to climate change.

APHA and other public health groups applauded the rule when it was first announced four months ago.

“Climate change poses serious, long-term threats to public health,” said Georges Benjamin, MD, executive director of APHA, in a Sept. 20, 2013, statement. “EPA’s common-sense standard will limit harmful carbon pollution and strengthen our public health protections for current and future generations, especially our most vulnerable communities, including children, older adults, those with serious health conditions and low-income families.”

The rule, published today in the Federal Register, is open for public comment until March 10. It is one in a series of executive actions under President Barack Obama’s Climate Action Plan announced in June.

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