Families in Maine have more than one reason to celebrate this holiday season. The Environmental Protection Agency is slated to finalize this month a rule limiting mercury pollution from power plants, the largest industrial source, for the first time in history.

Mercury from power plants gets into the fish we eat and poses serious health problems. Mercury can harm a child’s growing brain and nervous system, affecting cognitive thinking, memory, attention, language and fine motor and visual spatial skills.

Mercury contamination of fish is so widespread that one in 10 women of childbearing age has enough mercury in her bloodstream to put her child at risk if she becomes pregnant.

EPA’s new mercury rule is expected to cut emissions from power plants by more than 90 percent, resulting in huge benefits to our health, and that’s definitely something to celebrate. Sens. Susan Collins and Olympia Snowe should defend this important rule from any attacks in Congress.

Anika James

Environment Maine

Portland


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