Clean Air Act Digest, 5.5.11
Last week American Electric Power (AEP) released draft legislation that would exempt electric utility units from every conceivable Clean Air Act, Clean Water Act and Resource Conservation and Recovery Act requirement applying to utilities (smog, soot, toxic air pollution, GHGs, thermal heat discharges to water, water pollution, coal ash waste) between now and 2021, it also exempts power plants alone from even the basic obligation to comply with health-based national ambient air quality standards (NAAQS) during that period. The legislation does not yet have a sponsor. We should use this opportunity to remind our Senators that this reckless legislation has no place being considered by the Senate. See Environmental Defense Fund’s brief for more details.
50 States for Healthy Air Lobby Day:
The American Nurses Association, Earthjustice, Hip Hop Caucus, Interfaith Power & Light, National Council of Churches and Physicians for Social Responsibility spent May 4th lobbying on the Hill with physicians, nurses, faith leaders and community representatives from all 50 states. This diverse group of citizens are working to uphold the health protective standards of the Clean Air Act so to ensure all Americans have healthy air to breathe.
In mid-April the House Energy and Commerce Energy and Power Subcommittee held a hearing on the EPA’s new proposed limits on toxic pollution from industrial boilers and cement kilns and the proposal to set similar standards for coal-fired power plants. The agency estimates this would save thousands of lives each year and prevent asthma attacks, heart attacks and other life-threatening illnesses. Rep. Whitfield (R-KY), chair of the subcommittee, is expected to introduce a bill to block the implementation of these proposed rules later this spring.
State of the Air 2011:
Last week the American Lung Association released its annual report on air quality, State of the Air 2011, which includes lists of the nation’s most polluted metropolitan areas. This year’s report finds that the majority of American cities most-polluted by ozone (smog) or year-round particle pollution (soot) have improved, showing continued progress in the cleanup of deadly toxics, thanks to the Clean Air Act. However there is much work left to do, the report reveals that just over half the nation—154.5 million people—live in areas with levels of ozone and/or particle pollution that are often dangerous to breathe.
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 rule 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 Rule. Please urge Representatives to sign on to this letter to show support for protecting kids from mercury and toxic air pollution. The deadline to sign on to this letter is Thursday, May 12, 2011. 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 Rule Coalition Letter:
Environment America, is circulating a coalition letter intended to show broad support for the rule from many different stakeholders. Feel free to circulate this far and wide, as we want as many groups as possible on the letter. There is no deadline yet, but please let Shelly Vinyard at Shelley@environmentamerica.org know if you or other groups in your network wish to sign on.
Public Hearings for Mercury Air Toxics Standards:
EPA will hold public hearings on the recently released Mercury Air Toxics Standard in Philadelphia, Chicago and Atlanta. Each hearing will begin at 9:00 a.m. and continue until 8:00 p.m. (local time). The public may preregister to speak at the hearings at a specific time. People also may register in person on the day of the hearing, and will be worked in to openings in the schedule of speakers. To get involved contact Sierra Club Coordinator Jessica Hodge at Jessica.Hodge@sierraclub.org.
More details can be found here:
Official Regulatory Actions Page – Environmental Protection Agency
Announcement Public Hearings (PDF) – Federal Register – 4.28.11
Summer Gas Prices: Beating the Heat with Clean Cars, Environment America Report 5.5.11
A Health Wreck for America’s Children, Draft AEP Bill Analysis Environmental Defense Fund 5.3.11
The Clean Air Act: A Proven Tool for Healthy Air, Physicians for Social Responsibility Report 5.3.11
www.peoplenotpolluters.org, League of Women Voters
AEP Polluter Bill: Tens of Thousands of American Deaths is “Cost-Effective”?, Natural Resources Defense Council Blog 4.29.11
Rhode Island Multistate Letter to EPA Administrator Jackson Supporting EPA’s GHG Regulations, Rhode Island Department of Attorney General 4.29.11
State of the Air 2011 Report, American Lung Association 4.27.11
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.