Monday, December 5, 2016

Clean Air Act Digest, 1.14.11


US Climate Action Network

UPDATES

Four Clean Air Act attacks were introduced in the House last week:

  • Rep. Poe (R-TX) introduced H.R. 153. His legislation has the support of 19 republicans. This legislation would deny funding to the EPA for green house gas regulation.

  • Rep. Blackburn’s (R-TN) H.R. 197 has 46 cosponsors. The bill would exempt the Clean Air Act from covering green house gases.

  • Rep. Capito (R-WV) introduced H.R. 199. This bill would block the EPA from regulating emissions from stationary sources for two years, much like Senator Rockefeller’s proposal.

  • Rep. Carter (R-TX) has introduced H.J RES 9 to undo health protections recently finalized by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency that will save lives and billions of dollars in health care costs every year by cutting toxic air pollution—particularly mercury—from cement plants.

Efforts to hamstring the Clean Air Act are underway in the Senate:

  • Senator Rockefeller (D-WV) has announced his intentions to reintroduce legislation that would pushback EPA climate regulations for two years.

But there are members of Congress that are speaking out against these attacks:

  • Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.): “There is a case to be made that, in the contest between corporate profits and children’s lungs, someone should be standing up for children’s lungs.”

  • Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-N.J.): “People on the other side can talk about costs [of EPA safeguards]. What’s the cost of a life? What’s the cost of a disability? … We’re not going to cower in a corner.”

  • Sen. Ben Cardin (D-Md.) pledged to “do everything we can to prevent the taking away of the responsibility of EPA to protect our environment and our health.”

  • Sen. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa): “I never defend — I always attack…If they want to repeal EPA [regulations] and stuff like that, I think we ought to go after them. I say, give them rope.”

  • Rep. Connelly (D-VA) sent a letter to the House which clearly shows that EPA has the legal authority to regulate carbon pollution– and that the EPA has had such authority since the Clean Air Act was first written in 1970. He also calls out the special interests that have stood in the way of legislation and regulation.

ACTION ALERTS

Oppose Attempt To Exempt Cement Industry From Cleaning Up Their Toxin Pollution

Cement plants emit tremendous amounts of mercury, a dangerous neurotoxicant that can impair a child’s ability to think and learn. The EPA has recently issued new health protections will at long last bring cement plants’ toxic pollution under control, slashing emissions of mercury, hydrochloric acid, and particulate matter by more than 90 percent. The technology to reduce this pollution is available and has been for years, is affordable to cement companies, and will be installed, operated, and maintained by American workers.

But under a legislative loophole that allows Members of Congress to challenge regulations issued in the last 60 days, these health protections are under threat. Rep. John Carter (R-TX) is trying to build support for a congressional resolution (H.J. RES 9) that would permanently prevent this rule from entering into force. Stand up for clean air by calling your members of Congress and urge them to oppose this resolution. See Earthjustice’s action alert for more information or contact Stephanie Maddin at smaddin@earthjustice.org for more information.

IMPORTANT DEADLINES

Sign on to a Letter Opposing Roll Backs to Pollution Limits for Cement Plants.

Please sign on to a letter opposing a bill (H.J. Res. 9) that would roll back limits for mercury and other toxic air pollutants from cement plants. Medical and health professional and advocacy organizations, faith groups, parents’ groups, environmental groups, and other supportive groups at the state and national level are invited to sign by Noon Eastern time Monday 1/24/11. The letter’s text and sign-on form are found here. Contact Karen Florini for more information (kflorini@edf.org, 202-572-3318).

The comment period to support EPA’s recent action on Texas permitting programs is now open.

We are looking to drive comments at a national scale to support EPA’s recent action and to ask EPA to do more to ensure that Texas follows the law. Click here for a comment card provided by the Sierra Club you can use as a template. The email and address for comments is on the card. The deadline for comments is February 12, 2011.

UPCOMING EVENTS

Public Hearing in Dallas, Texas on Proposed Actions on Texas Permitting Programs

EPA is holding a public hearing on its proposed partial approval and disapproval of the Texas Prevention of Significant Deterioration State Implementation Plan and Federal Implementation Plan today, January 14, 2011. Details at: http://www.epa.gov/NSR/actions.html#jan11.

NEW MATERIALS

New EPA Factsheet: Permitting for Greenhouse Gas Emissions – Final Rules

Clean Air Act Digest is a publication put together by US Climate Action Network and Natural Resources Defense Council please contact Kate Smolski at ksmolski@climatenetwork.org for more details.

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