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May 25, 2011

St. David's Rallies Support for Reducing Mercury Emissions

St. David’s, Austin, as part of its leadership through the GreenFaith Certification Program, is rallying support for a new national rule aimed at reducing the emission of mercury and other toxins from power plants nationwide. St. David’s rector David Boyd asserted, “This national standard will help prevent untold numbers of people from serious illness and death and will particularly benefit those in economically disadvantaged communities – the poor for whom Jesus has a particular concern. As Christians we know that the care of creation was entrusted to us (Genesis 1:26), and this is an issue of theology and faithfulness.”


On March 15, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency proposed the rule, which is now open for public comment. The rule would require many power plants to install pollution control technologies to cut harmful emissions of mercury and other toxins. According to the EPA, the new rule will prevent as many as


  • 17,000 premature deaths and 11,000 heart attacks a year.
  • 120,000 cases of childhood asthma symptoms and 11,000 fewer cases of acute bronchitis among children each year.
  • 12,000 emergency room visits and hospital admissions, and 850,000 fewer days of work missed due to illness.


More than 50 signatures gathered by St. David’s will be added to 1,000+ additional signatures from faith-based sites gathered by GreenFaith, and delivered to the US EPA. 


“We are encouraged by the favorable response we have received to our call for support of this important emissions standard.  Although many of our members live out their faith by practicing responsible environmental stewardship in their daily lives, this is a way that we---as an institution and as part of a coalition of institutions nationwide---can leverage our individual efforts to achieve a greater positive impact on safeguarding creation,” said Rosera Tateosian, chair of St. David’s Environmental Guild, the congregation’s ministry group dedicated to the call of environmental stewardship. 


GreenFaith, the sponsoring organization of the Certification Program in which St. David’s is participating, is an active advocate for environmental protection.  Following the signing of the proposed rule, EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson met privately with GreenFaith’s Executive Director, Rev. Fletcher Harper, and stressed the importance of support from people of faith. “This rule will save lives as soon as it is implemented,” said Harper. “St. David’s is offering important leadership by encouraging its members and community to voice their support.”


For more information about St. David’s environmental leadership, visit  For more information about GreenFaith and the GreenFaith Certification Program, visit