WALTHAM, Mass., Dec. 22, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- National Grid today applauded the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for its release of the Mercury and Air Toxics Standards (MATS). The final rule fulfills EPA's obligation established in the 1990 Clean Air Act Amendments to regulate toxic air emissions from the electric sector. "Today, EPA has finalized a reasonable rule that reflects its constructive engagement with stakeholders," said Tom King, president, National Grid USA. "As a result, this rule will provide additional business clarity that is critical for our industry and long-term investments in the sector." EPA's final rule contains several elements and important changes from the original proposal that will allow for greater compliance flexibility and mitigate the costs of the rule, including work practice standards for startup and shutdown, reduced monitoring requirements, the ability to average among units at a facility, and reasonable surrogates. "While we are still evaluating the rule, based on the final standards and the extensions available in the Act and highlighted by EPA yesterday, we believe the industry should be able to comply with the final emission standards while maintaining the reliability of the electric system," said King. ABOUT NATIONAL GRID National Grid (LSE: NG; NYSE: NGG) is an electricity and gas company that connects consumers to energy sources through its networks. The company is at the heart of one of the greatest challenges facing our society - to create new, sustainable energy solutions for the future and developing an energy system that underpins economic prosperity in the 21st century. National Grid holds a vital position at the center of the energy system and it 'joins everything up.' In the northeast US, we connect more than seven million gas and electric customers to vital energy sources, essential for our modern lifestyles. In Great Britain, we run the gas and electricity systems that our society is built on, delivering gas and electricity across the country. National Grid delivers electricity to approximately 3.3 million customers in Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York and Rhode Island. It manages the electricity network on Long Island under an agreement with the Long Island Power Authority (LIPA), and owns over 4,000 megawatts of contracted electricity generation, providing power to over one million LIPA customers. It is the largest distributor of natural gas in northeastern U.S., serving approximately 3.4 million customers in New York, Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Rhode Island. For more information please visit our website: www.nationalgridus.com. Follow us on Twitter, Watch us on You Tube, Friend us on Facebook, Find our photos on Flickr.