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News: Clean Air Act Under Attack

News: Clean Air Act Under Attack

Despite the improvements we see in air quality and the growth in clean renewable energy sources, there is proposed federal legislation that would weaken the Environmental Protection Agency and the Clean Air Act, roll back standards for ozone and other dangerous pollutants, and eliminate plans to combat climate change.

 Things to call Members of Congress about:

Our nation’s air quality improvement is possible only because of the Clean Air Act, a strong public health law put in place by Congress more than 45 years ago. And, EPA produced a report showing a 63 percent reduction in the nation’s most widespread air pollutants since 1980 while the economy grew by more than 150 percent. Some in Congress seek to weaken the Clean Air Act by removing key provisions of the law and threatening progress made over decades. Congress must protect the Clean Air Act—making certain it remains strong, fully implemented and enforced.

The data on jobs and health run counter to H.R. 4775, a bill in Congress  often dubbed the Smoggy Skies Act. The ‘Smoggy Skies Act’ would delay stronger ozone reducing standards for almost a decade and would also permanently weaken the Clean Air Act, undermining future health protections from dangerous pollutants such as particle pollution, carbon monoxide and lead. The legislation has already passed the House and is before the Senate. Unfortunately, North Carolina Representative Renee Elmers and Georgia Representative Sandford Bishop cosponsored the House version.

Less than one-third of all counties have ozone or particle pollution monitors, seriously limiting the ability to detect and track levels of harmful air pollution. Funds for existing air pollution monitors have been cut across the nation. The President has proposed to cut EPA’s budget by 31 percent, including dramatic cuts for state air pollution grants that fund monitoring. With such challenges to our monitoring infrastructure, it may be harder for the nation to ensure accurate, reliable quality data in the future.

Scientists tell us that carbon pollution contributes to a warming climate, enhancing conditions for ozone formation and making it hard to reduce this lethal pollutant. Climate change also leads to particle pollution from increased droughts and wildfires. Regulations.gov is now accepting public comments regarding the federal effort to review and rescind EPA regulations affecting climate change, specifically carbon dioxide, methane, and coal ash. We only have until May 15 to register comment.  Please:

1) Go to: Regulations.gov. https://www.regulations.gov
2) Put in the Docket Number: EPA-HQ-OA-2017-0190-0001 in the search box (has dark blue background).
3) Go to “Comment Now” and enter your comments.
Mother and Others for Clean Air, along with the American Lung Association, allied health partners, and forward-thinking businesses, will continue to fight for strong air standards to protect the health of all Americans. Join the fight for Healthy Air. Contact us to join our Save our Lungs network at MOCleanair@lungse.org.