• ABOUT THE WRITER Daphne Cole of Blackstone is a retired career educator, having taught 38 years in Nottoway County Public Schools.


Why I testified in Washington

On March 18th, I testified in Washington, D. C. before the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) against proposed rollbacks of a 2011 control of Mercury in the air and water. My testimony is as follows:

“I retired from traditional teaching three years ago but have embraced volunteering in projects with National Wildlife Federation, James River Association: River Rat, Chesapeake Bay Foundation, Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay, Richmond Audubon Society and a certified Virginia Master Naturalist.

“Because of my interests in the environment and children, I am here today to express my deep concerns over EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler’s proposed revision to the existing Mercury and Air Toxic Standards. The existing standards are responsible for lifesaving reductions in dangerous mercury, soot, and other toxic air pollutants released from coal and oil-producing plants. The revised rule will increase toxic pollution that threatens our air, land, water, and wildlife

“Many of my projects are on the James River, where the presence of coal-burning furnaces and industries have fouled the river with mercury emissions in the past.



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