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New pollution rules for power plants will save 34,000 lives

The EPA finalized new regulations for power plants in 27 states that contribute to unhealthy air downwind. Compounds causing smog, soot, and acid rains drift downwind, making it impossible for neighboring states to meet their clean air requirements. We first covered this issue back in January, but in case you missed it, here are some health stats on the new rules:

  • Number of Americans whose air quality will be improved: 240 million
  • Cost to utilities: $800 million per year, in addition to the estimated $1.6 billion spent per year to comply with a Bush administration rule that this new rule will replace
  • Health benefits: 34,000 fewer premature deaths, 15,000 fewer heart attacks, and 400,000 fewer cases of asthma every year
  • Estimated value of health and other benefits: $120 billion to $280 billion by 2014

The Environmental Defense Fund put together a map showing how many lives are expected to be saved annually in each state, thanks to the new regulations:

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