Clean Air Act Digest, 10.7.11
More rollbacks of the Clean Air Act:
On October 7 the ‘Cement Sector Regulatory Relief Act of 2011″(H.R. 2681) was passed on the House floor. The bill would repeal already finalized EPA standards that restrict toxic emissions from cement plants, and replaces the standards with much weaker measures. This legislation will result in up to 12,500 premature deaths. The measure passed with 262 votes, 25 democrats voted for the bill and 2 republicans voted against it.
The next bill in Majority Leader Cantor’s Pollution agenda is the “EPA Regulatory Relief Act of 2011″ (H.R. 2250), legislation that will rollback standards to limit mercury and other air toxics from boilers and incinerators. We expect the bill to be voted on as early as Tuesday October 11. The bill forbids EPA from issuing final standards for these facilities for 15 months and also eliminate any deadlines by which industrial polluters must meet final standards once they are issued, allowing facilities to dump unlimited amounts of air pollution into the air. Learn more at http://www.dirtysecrets.org/hr-2250-hr-2681/
Later in the week Rep Cantor has indicated that the house will take up the (H.R. 2273), legislation that will rollback life-saving standards for coal ash. Coal ash is the abundant and dangerous waste left over after coal is burned. Across the country, billions of tons of coal ash have been dumped in enormous waste ponds, pits, landfills and mines, putting human health at risk from large scale disasters and gradual – yet equally dangerous – contamination as toxins in coal ash seep into drinking water sources. Act: please see the sign on letter below, for more information click here.
As we reported last week, Senator Rand Paul is attempting to use the Congressional Review Act to permanently block the life-saving Cross State Air Pollution Rule. Finalized this past July, the Cross State Air Pollution Rule will address power plant emissions that cross state lines and contribute to unsafe levels of air pollution and smog. Senators Johanns and Cornyn are also cosponsors. Visit http://www.edf.org/health/fact-sheets/epa-cross-state-air-pollution-rule for state specific factsheets. Also, see John Walke’s blog on CSAPR from July here.
On Thursday Senators Barasso and Johanns tried to attached amendments to (S. 1619), The Currency Exchange Rate Oversight Reform Act. The Barrasso amendment would have weakened and delayed toxic air pollutant standards for cement plants, and the Johanns amendment would have blocked updates to air quality standards for soot pollution. Fortunately, neither of the amendments came to a vote.
“We the People” Petition the Obama Administration to: Protect Children from Dangerous Air Pollution
The White House recently launched its new “We the People” online petitioning tool. This new formal petition process allows individuals to petition the Obama Administration to take action. If a petition gets enough support, 5,000 signatures or more, the White House will issue an official response.
The President promised Alexandra Allred and her son Tommy that he’d fight for clean air. But the administration’s recent decision to further delay long overdue smog protections was a very disappointing step backwards. See full action alert here.
We depend on President Obama to stand with the children most affected by polluted air, scientists and public health experts and deliver on his promise for clean air. Lend your voice! Call on the President to honor his promise to Tommy and to protect the health of Americans by working as hard as he can to keep dangerous pollutants like mercury, carbon and soot out of our air. Over 9,000 people have already signed Tommy’s petition but we want to make it to the top of the list. We know many Americans support this cause so lets keep it up and get President Obama’s attention!
Please sign the petition here — it only takes a few steps, registration will be required.
Please promote and pass this petition along to others to sign – See sample tweets here.
Finally if your organization is interested in sending out an action alert or email to your members please contact email@example.com for more information.
Sign Opposition Letter to the Recycling Coal Combustion Residuals Accessibility Act of 2011 (H.R. 2273):
Passage of this bill would endanger the health and safety of thousands of communities, fail to stimulate coal ash recycling, and disrupt the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) public rulemaking process that has been underway for over two years and has engaged nearly half a million citizens. If your organization isn’t currently on opposition letter, please sign on by sending sign on information (name, title, organization, city and state) to Ian (firstname.lastname@example.org). Please sign ASAP but the final deadline is COB Wednesday, October 12th.
HR 2273 McKinley Coal Ash Bill Fact Sheet, Joint Fact Sheet
LCV Statement on Passage of Legislation to Block Cement Plant Standards, League of Conservation Voters Press Release 10.6.11
American Lung Association Urges the U.S. Senate to Once Again Reject Dirty Air Bill from the House, American Lung Association Press Release 10.6, 2011
EPA Statement Cross State Air Pollution Rule Revisions, Environmental Protection Agency Statement 10.6.11
EPA Fact Sheet Cross State Air Pollution Rule Revisions, Environmental Protection Agency Press Release 10.6.11
Letter to Senate Oppose Barrasso Cement Amdt #672, Johanns PM 10 Amdnt #692, Group Sign-On 10.6.11
Obama to Media: Stop Pretending the GOP has a Real Jobs Plan, Washington Post 10.6.11
Clean Air Act Drives Economic Growth Essential While Protecting Public Health, Environment, BlueGreen Alliance Press Release 10.6.11
Don’t forget the Clean Air Act fan page on Facebook.
Clean Air Act Digest is a publication put together by US Climate Action Network and Natural Resources Defense Council please contact Kate Smolski at email@example.com for more details. Click here for past issues.