The Congregational Church in Cumberland Rallies Support for Reducing Deadly Mercury Emissions


May 31st, 2011
The Congregational Church in Cumberland
Media Contact: Lalla Carothers | 207-829-2283

GreenFaith Media Contact: Rev. Fletcher Harper | 201-390-0094

The Congregational Church in Cumberland Rallies Support for Reducing Deadly Mercury Emissions

The Congregational Church in Cumberland, 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.  “This rule will prevent thousands of people from serious illness and death– particularly those in poor communities near many power plants,” said Diane Bennekamper, minister at The Congregational Church in Cumberland.  “It’s the right thing to do, and we are proud to support it.”

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 widely available, proven 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.

Signatures gathered by The Congregational Church in Cumberland will be added to over 1,000 additional signatures from faith-based sites gathered by GreenFaith, and delivered to the US EPA.

GreenFaith, the sponsoring organization of the Certification Program in which The Congregational Church in Cumberland 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.  “The Congregational Church in Cumberland is offering important leadership by encouraging its members and community to voice their support.”

For more information about The Congregational Church in Cumberland’s environmental leadership, visit  For more information about GreenFaith and the GreenFaith Certification Program, visit

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