Sens. Tom Carper, D-Delaware, and Lamar Alexander, R-Tennessee, sent a letter to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in support of the Mercury and Air Toxics Standards rule.

On Feb. 16, 2012, EPA published the MATS rule, which resulted in the first-ever federal standards to limit mercury, acid gases and other air toxic pollution from fossil-fuel power plants. Prior to the rule, fossil-fuel power plants were the largest source of unregulated mercury in the country. MATS has achieved a 90 percent reduction in mercury power plant emissions. In April 2017, the D.C. Circuit Court granted EPA’s request to delay litigation against MATS, as the agency determines if it wants to make any changes to the rule. The senators’ letter follows a letter by the utility industry also asking EPA to keep the MATS protections in place because investments in air control technology have already been made and installed.

“Keeping the current rule in place will provide much-needed certainty for the electric power industry and help protect the health of all Americans,” the senators wrote. “EPA struck the right balance between protecting the environment, public health and our economy. For these reasons and more, we strongly supported the MATS rule when it was finalized and still support the rule today.”

“MATS has been a success, and changing the MATS rule just doesn’t make sense,” the senators wrote.

The full text of the letter is available at bit.ly/2wjecu0.