WASHINGTON, D.C. – Dr. Sonia Zárate, President of the Society for the Advancement of Chicanos/Hispanics and Native Americans in Science (SACNAS), issues the following statement urging the Administration to refrain from rolling back the Mercury and Air Toxic Standards (MATS). Mercury, a byproduct of coal-fired power plants, is a known neurotoxin. It severely affects developing fetuses and links have been established between this toxic chemical and heart attacks among adults:
“The protections known as Mercury and Toxic Air Standards annually prevent an estimated 11,000 premature deaths, 5,000 heart attacks and 130,000 asthma attacks. These research findings, should not be bypassed in an attempt to roll back protections.
Currently, hazardous emissions are 96% lower as a result of these protections and this is a benefit to all. If reversed, the most impacted would be minoritized and underserved communities. Hispanic children are almost twice as likely to die from an asthma attack compared to white children and nearly 2 in 5 Latino families live within 30 miles of a power plant, the chief emitters of mercury pollution.
SACNAS has joined 16 other organizations to ask the Environmental Protection Agency to keep these mercury protections in place. When policymakers use data to craft policy, it puts communities first. But when lawmakers disregard scientific data, they put communities at risk.”
SACNAS is an inclusive organization with over 45-years of experience fostering the success of Chicanos/Hispanics & Native Americans, from college students to professionals, in attaining advanced degrees, careers and positions of leadership in STEM. SACNAS serves approximately 6,000 members, a larger community of 20,000, and with 115 SACNAS student and professional chapters throughout the U.S. and Puerto Rico.
Yamila Pino; firstname.lastname@example.org; 202-660-1433