Clean Air Act Digest, 7.20.12
The anti-regulatory bills that we reported on last week have been combined into one package, titled the “Red Tape Reduction and Small Business Job Creation Act” (H.R. 4078), with several additional anti-regulatory bills added. The House of Representatives is expected to vote on this dangerous bill sometime next week, possibly Wednesday or Thursday. The bill has the potential to do away with, or gravely weaken our entire federal regulatory system, which ensures a standard of health, safety, and economic stability for every American. The most extreme bill in the package, the Regulatory Freeze for Jobs Act, would freeze any “significant” regulations for as long as the unemployment rate remains above 6 percent. The bill contains many other dangerous provisions, including one that would prevent the proposal or finalization of regulations during the presidential lame duck period. Moreover, H.R. 4078 would block vital regulations on carbon pollution and vehicle efficiency—possibly for years to come. See the Coalition For Sensible Safeguards’ website for fact sheets and letters.
As we mentioned last week, EPA has proposed revisions to the National Ambient Air Quality Standards for fine particulate matter (soot). Soot is an extremely dangerous form of air pollution that contributes to heart disease, asthma and premature deaths. Therefore, the proposed rule is vital to safeguarding clean air and public health. This week, hearings on the proposed new standard were held in Sacramento and Philadelphia. The public comment period on the rule is now open and will end August 31. For more, see the action alert below.
On Wednesday, EPA proposed amendments to two 2010 Clean Air Act rules for Portland cement manufacturing. This new version of the rule would weaken and delay implementation of significant cement kiln standards. Cement kilns are known to emit lethal pollutants—including mercury, cadmium and lead—that pose major threats to public health. The public comment period for the rule is now open and will run until August 17.
–Thanks to Sierra Club for the language!
Support EPA’s Rule for Strong Soot Protections
The EPA recently proposed a new rule to protect America’s families and children from fine particulate matter, also called soot. Soot is a danger to some of the most vulnerable segments of the population, including children, the elderly, those with heart and lung disease, and low income people. This dangerous form of air pollution can cause damage to the heart and lungs, asthma attacks, and even premature death. EPA made the right choice to keep our air clean and safe to breathe, but the agency is already facing pressure from big polluters who are trying to stop this life-saving standard. However, we have a chance to show our support for this vital clean air protection. The EPA is currently taking public comments on the proposed soot standard. Your public support will make a difference, so take action today and tell polluters it’s time to clear our skies and protect public health. Use the action alerts liked below to send a comment to the EPA and support the proposal today!
Stand Up for Strong Soot Protections, Sierra Club Action Alert: http://bit.ly/MwMdcN
Support the EPA’s Limit on Harmful Soot Pollution, Moms Clean Air Force Action Alert: http://bit.ly/S6pOFL
Help Us Cut Deadly Soot Pollution, Earthjustice Action Alert: http://bit.ly/NhCsRU
Soot Hearings: Speaking Out For Public Health, Sierra Club Blog, 7.19.12
Viewpoints: Join Fight For Cleaner Air in EPA Proposal, Sacramento Bee, 7.18.12
GOP Right Wing is Serious About Disabling Government, Oped by Former Rep. Sherwood Boehlert, The Hill’s Congress Blog, 7.18.12
The Congressional Red Tape Act-Bad for the Business of Environmental Health, Natural Resources Defense Council Blog, 7.18.12
Letter Opposing the “Red Tape Reduction and Small Business Job Creation Act” (H.R. 4078), Coalition for Sensible Safeguards, 7.18.12
US House Bill Increases Oil Dependence, Pollution, and Pain at the Gas Pump, Natural Resources Defense Council Blog, 7.17.12
The Congress That’s Hazardous to Your Health: Two More Nasty Little Bills from House Republicans, Natural Resources Defense Council Blog, 7.17.12
The Soot Chronicles: EPA takes Testimony Today in Philly, Philadelphia Inquirer, 7.17.12
Public Hearings Begin Today on New Soot Pollution Rules, Environmental Defense Fund Press Release, 7.16.12
Forum: Cherries in Need of Clean Air, Traverse City Record Eagle, 7.12.12
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:
Clean Air Act Digest is a publication put together by US Climate Action Network and Natural Resources Defense Council. Please contact Lara Levison at firstname.lastname@example.org for more details. Click here for past issues.