WV leaders fight tighter carbon pollution standards amid public health risks from coal-fired plants
Charleston Gazette-Mailreporter Mike Tony details federal data showing that asthma and low life expectancy are highly prevalent in communities around West Virginia’s coal-fired power plants.
In a nutshell:
A study revealed that adverse health impacts in West Virginia were linked to five coal-fired plants, resulting in an estimated 266 deaths and 106 heart attacks in 2019.
“EPA must require more plants to achieve greater carbon pollution reductions and on the fastest possible timeline in order to protect public health,” Mary Kay Henry, president of Service Employees International Union, a health care, public sector and property services union, said in comments on the EPA proposal.
The big picture:
The study comes three months after the EPA proposed new carbon pollution standards for fossil fuel power plants to protect human health and limit climate pollution. Previous studies show that people residing, working and attending school near these facilities, which emit pollutants like sulfur dioxide and fine particulate matter, often experience elevated rates of respiratory illnesses such as asthma and bronchitis. Research also indicates a heightened risk of cardiovascular issues, including heart disease and heart attacks, due to exposure to air pollutants emitted by power plants.
Read the article at the Charleston Gazette-Mail.
Multiple scientific studies indicate that living near a coal plant can lead to negative health outcomes. EHN covered two studies in 2018 that showed significantly fewer health risks for babies after nearby coal plants closed.