I recently passed a billboard west of Portland Avenue on
Interstate 40 advertising treatment for brain tumors. When there are
enough people in Oklahoma with brain tumors to warrant a huge billboard,
there must be environmental causes.

we can do a better job of preventing previously uncommon and deadly
diseases that so many of our friends and families are facing. Oklahoma
has been named the 25th most mercury-polluted state in the nation.
Mercury is a potent neurotoxin, linked to reproductive health problems,
heart attacks and developmental disabilities.

Coal-fired power plants in
Oklahoma emitted a staggering 1,951 pounds of toxic mercury pollution in
2009. Being downwind, we also get
mercury from Texas’ numerous coal-fired power plants. It only takes a
tiny amount of mercury to pollute our water supplies. That is already
happening, as it is unsafe to eat the fish in many Oklahoma lakes.

of the government’s job is to protect its citizens. The Environmental
Protection Agency is trying to do that with the new standards limiting
mercury. Our political representatives continually take sides against
the EPA and, by extension, against our families. We are paying dearly
for the corporate greed polluting our environment.

—Susan Schmidt
Oklahoma City

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