Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Clean Air Act Digest, 4.8.13

Clean Air Act Digest



Congress has been in recess for two weeks, reconvening this week.


During the night on March 22, the US Senate voted on dozens of amendments and passed a blueprint for next year’s federal budget (S. Con. Res. 8).  Senator Inhofe (R-OK) offered an amendment that he described as prohibiting further greenhouse gas regulations for the purpose of addressing climate change.  The amendment failed 47-52. For more information on this and other Senate budget resolution votes, and on contacting your Senators regarding how they voted, please see USCAN’s March 29 Climate Action Hotline.

On Thursday, April 11, at 10:30 am, the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee will hold a hearing on the nomination of Gina McCarthy to be the Administrator of the US Environmental Protection Agency.  To learn more about McCarthy’ s qualifications for the position, visit the Stand with Gina website.


On March 29, EPA published a proposal to tighten gasoline and vehicles standards (“Tier 3”) with plans to finalize the standards by the end of 2013. The proposal will establish more stringent tailpipe standards and reduce the sulfur content of gasoline beginning in 2017. By using a systems approach (regulating fuels and vehicle as a single system), the Tier 3 standards are able to achieve the greatest emission reductions at the lowest cost to society. These standards are supported by a diverse coalition of industry, consumer, public health, environmental, labor, and science-based organizations because they will reduce air pollution, save lives, and create thousands of new jobs in an ailing economy.  Oil companies and their allies in Congress are working hard to stop these standards, making misleading, discredited claims as to the impact these standards will have on consumers.

On the same day that EPA issued proposed Tier 3 standards, the EPA also issued its final reconsidered new source mercury and air toxics limits for power plants. As expected, these standards are somewhat weaker than their first iteration.

Finally, environmental groups submitted a petition for certiorari to the Supreme Court, asking the court to review the D.C. Circuit Court decision overturning EPA’s Cross-State Air Pollution Rule (CSAPR). We expect the high court to rule on this petition by mid-summer.


Show Support for Veteran Clean Air Advocate Gina McCarthy

Recently Nominated as the New Environmental Protection Agency Chief

By nominating Gina McCarthy to be the next EPA administrator, President Obama is showing America that he understands how vital this job is—and that he’s ready to take bold action for clean air, public health and climate change solutions. As head of the EPA’s clean air division, McCarthy fought hard to get strong safeguards across the finish line, and she was instrumental in placing emissions limits on new power plants and requiring better vehicle fuel efficiency. She’s helped secure historic public health safeguards, including life-saving standards to restrict soot, mercury and other toxic—safeguards that will avert thousands of heart attacks and premature deaths each year and prevent tens of thousands of asthmas attacks annually.

You can make a difference by participating in a petition drive to support Gina McCarthy as the new EPA chief.

Below are a few examples, templates, and action alerts. If you need additional messaging materials, sample language, or plan to create a petition, please contact Marie Risalvato at

Tell Your Senators to Help Put a Clean Air and Public Health Expert at the Helm of the EPA, Environmental Defense Fund Action Alert

A Clean-air Champion for the Climate Fight, Sierra Club Action Alert

Sample Email Alert Template, Sierra Club Email

Thank President Obama for Appointing Gina McCarthy as EPA Administrator, Moms Clean Air Force Action Alert



Public Hearings and Public Comment Period

The public hearings for the Tier 3 proposed rulemaking will be held on April 24, 2013 at the Sonesta Hotel Philadelphia, 1800 Market Street, Philadelphia, PA 19103 and April 29, 2013 at the Doubletree Magnificent Mile, 300 E. Ohio Street, Chicago, IL 60611. To sign up to testify at one of the public hearings, call (734) 214-4454. Public comments must be submitted on or before June 13, 2013.


A Penny For Prevention: The Case For Cleaner Gasoline And Vehicle Standards, American Lung Association Report, 4.4.13

EPA Proposes Tier 3 Motor Vehicle Emission And Fuel Standards, Environmental Protection Agency Fact Sheet, 3.2013

Cleaner Cars, Cleaner Fuel: EPA’s Tier 3 Program, Union of Concerned Scientists Fact Sheet

Cleaner Gasoline And Vehicles Survey January 2013, American Lung Association Survey, 1.30.13

Above is a sampling of the most recent resources related to upholding the Clean Air Act. Don’t forget USCAN has a series of pages that compile items like these and much more:

Congressional Attacks on the Clean Air Act

Industrial Carbon Pollution Standards

Standards for Power Plants and Other Major Emitters

Clean Vehicle Standards

Clean Air Act Digest is a publication put together by US Climate Action Network and Natural Resources Defense Council. Please contact Lara Levison at for more details. Click here for past issues.