Clean Air Act Digest, 12.16.11
Next week we expect the Administration to announce life-saving standards that will curb mercury and other toxic air pollution from power plants. These new measures will save up to 17,000 lives every year and will prevent 11,000 heart attacks. This is a huge victory for the clean air community. Please take this opportunity to thank the Administration for these new protective standards that will save lives and protect children.
Capitol Hill Update:
Late last night House and Senate Appropriators reached a deal on a spending package that will fund the government through September 2012. While there are still a number of bad environmental riders in the final bill, none of the most egregious clean air measures made it into the final package.
On Tuesday, the House passed their payroll tax cut extension bill, which included riders to delay clean up of the dirtiest industrial boilers. Nearly 40 million Americans live within three miles of at least one of these types of industrial facilities that emits uncontrolled or poorly-controlled levels of toxic air pollution (like mercury, lead, and formaldehyde). For years, these known emitters of neurotoxins and carcinogens have been poisoning nearby residential neighborhoods, schools and communities. To read more about the House bill, please see Frances Beinecke’s blog and to learn more about EPA’s plants to clean up boilers, see John Walke’s blog. The Senate is expected to vote down the House bill, possibly on Saturday, and in the meantime congressional leaders and the White House are negotiating over the payroll tax package. Republicans are pushing to include legislation to expedite building the Keystone XL pipeline.
Mercury and Air Toxics Standards (MATS) for Power Plants, Environmental Protection Agency Web Page
Dozens of Anti-Environment Riders Are Kept Out of Spending Bill, Natural Resources Defense Council Press Release 12.16.11
Stop the Riders: GOP Lawmakers Slow Down Bills with Anti-Environmental Attacks, Natural Resources Defense Council Blog 12.14.11
41 Women in Congress Write to President in Support of Mercury and Air Toxics Standards, Congressional Sign-on Letter 12.13.11
Fact Sheet: EPA Mercury Rules and Power Reliability, World Resources Institute Fact Sheet 12.2011
American Lung Association Chides House of Representatives for Passage of Latest Harmful Anti-Public Health Bills, American Lung Association Press Release 12.7.11
Don’t forget the Clean Air Act fan page on Facebook
Check out USCAN’s Air Toxics Standards Section for the latest materials on the Mercury and Air Toxics 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 firstname.lastname@example.org for more details. Click here for past issues.