Clean Air Act Digest, 5.27.11
The House Energy and Power subcommittee passed the ‘TRAIN Act’ (H.R.1705) by voice vote on Tuesday that would commission a cost study of new pollution rules for coal-fired power plants. The bill, sponsored by Reps. John Sullivan (R-OK) and Jim Matheson (D-UT) would add a layer of red tape to the process by creating a Cabinet-level panel to study the costs of more than a dozen new rules that have been finalized or proposed, studies that the EPA is already required to undertake. The committee voted down a Democratic amendment that would have required the study to include the benefits of the updated clean air standards.
In a letter dated May 13 to Senator Inhofe, EPA Assistant Administrator Gina McCarthy restated the agency’s commitment to updating the National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) for ground-level Ozone (smog) in order to adhere to the current science. The letter addressed to Senator Inhofe was in response to his letter calling for a delay in updating the standards-standards that will improve air quality and better protect public health. McCarthy’s letter included the rational that reconsideration of the standard was warranted due to concerns that the 2008 standard was not defensible given the science and the requirements under the Clean Air Act.
Mercury and Air Toxics:
Tuesday marked the first two EPA hearings on the proposed Mercury and Air Toxics rule in Chicago and Philadelphia and a third took place in Atlanta yesterday. At all three hearing hundreds of citizens turned out to show support for the EPA setting a strong standards to reduce life-threatening air toxics. The comment period for the proposed rule remains open until July 5, more details below. See some footage and pictures of the hearings here (youtube), here (Sierra Club’s Facebook album), here (Philly stroller brigade clip), here (picture), and here (picture).
Tell President Obama to Clean Up Our Air!
Smog does more than cloud your skyline — it irritates your lungs, triggers asthma attacks, increases emergency room visits and can lead to irreversible lung damage or even death.
There is no doubt that smog is a nasty, pernicious pollutant — but we have the technology and the opportunity to clean up our air. The EPA is now considering a new smog standard that will better protect our health.
Let President Obama know that you want him to set a new smog standard that will protect your health. Please see Sierra Club’s action alert template or contact Melinda Pierce at email@example.com for more information.
Comments for Mercury and Air Toxics Standards:
After 20 years of delay, the Environmental Protection Agency has finally proposed strong mercury and air toxics standards for power plants. EPA’s proposed standards for power plants that burn coal and oil are projected to save as many as 17,000 American lives every year by 2015. However, it’s up to us to demonstrate powerful public demand over the next few months to keep the standard strong against relentless industry attacks.
These standards have officially been entered into the Federal Register. We now have until July 5th, 2011 to submit comments. Please see the Sierra Club’s factsheet, sample action alert and comment card for more information. If you are planning to generate comments please contact Lyndsay Moseley at Lyndsay.Moseley@sierraclub.org.
EPA Power Plant Air Toxics Dear Colleague:
Representative Capps, Schakowsky and Wasserman Schultz are currently circulating a dear colleague letter in the House of Representatives in support of the EPA Power Plant Air Toxics Standard. Please urge Representatives to sign on to this letter to show support for protecting kids from mercury and toxic air pollution. For more details please contact Paul Billings at America Lung Association, firstname.lastname@example.org. Also, check out the Sierra Club’s online action alert.
Mercury and Air Toxics Coalition Letter:
Environment America, is circulating a coalition letter intended to show broad support for the standards from many different stakeholders. Feel free to circulate this far and wide, as we want as many groups as possible on the letter. The deadline for sign-on is TODAY, May 27th by COB. All organizations are welcome, please view the letter and sign on here. For more information contact Shelly Vinyard at Shelley@environmentamerica.org.
Full of Hot (and Toxic) Air: Big Polluters Try to Block Stronger Mercury Standards, Natural Resources Defense Council Blog, 5.25.11
Clergy, Doctors, Industry Debate New Mercury Rules at EPA Hearing, The Philadelphia Inquirer 5.24.11
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.