Skip to main content

Advocates From 50 States Call for Health Standards

When our elected officials continue standing in the way of clean air and water—it’s time to shake things up. Which is why more than 100 physicians, tribal and labor leaders, clergy, nurses and parents are in Washington, D.C., for a 3-day visit with Congress, united as 50 States United for Healthy Air.

This legion of clean air and water advocates are meeting with members of Congress to call for greater protections from smog, coal ash, carbon and other dangerous air pollutants.

It’s a big day for our lungs and our health.

This diverse group is from American Nurses Association, Earthjustice, Hip Hop Caucus, Labor Council for Latin American Advancement, National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, National Council of Churches, National Latino Coalition on Climate Change, and Physicians for Social Responsibility, and are representing all 50 states and Puerto Rico.

These Clean Air Ambassadors are asking Congress and the White House to:

  • Finalize a pending standard to reduce carbon emissions from new coal-fired power plants, and to urgently move forward on a standard to reduce emissions from existing power plants.
  • Finalize a federally enforceable coal ash rule that would address the more than 1,400 unregulated coal ash dams and landfills that threaten the health and safety of hundreds of communities living near them.
  • Strengthen the current standard for ozone pollution, or smog, which would annually prevent up to 12,000 premature deaths, tens of thousands of asthma attacks and hospital visits, and hundreds of thousands of lost school and work days.
  • Finalize the pending cleaner gasoline and tailpipe standards (Tier 3). This would reduce smog-producing pollution and soot emitted from our vehicles, preventing up to 2,400 premature deaths, 3,200 hospital admissions and 22,000 asthma attacks each year.

One of our partners, Jacqui Patterson, NAACP Director of the Environmental and Climate Justice Program, had this to say about 50 States United for Healthy Air:

Communities of color disproportionately endure higher rates of asthma, respiratory problems and other chronic diseases, not because of their lifestyles or because of genetics, but because of their zip codes.

The NAACP will continue to stand up, speak out, and fight until all communities can breathe clean air, drink clean water, and live on uncontaminated land.

And here is what Earthjustice President Trip Van Noppen said:

Congress needs to hear and see that cleaning up our air is a priority for a broad spectrum of their constituents.

We are grateful for every health professional, clergy, labor leader, tribal leader and community advocate who has come to Washington to meet their member and tell their own story.

The power of those personal experiences is what will overcome the dozens of high-paid industry lobbyists wanting fewer protections and less oversight. We are proud to help carry the message that clean air is important to all.

Tags:  coal ash

About the Earthjustice Blog

unEARTHED is a forum for the voices and stories of the people behind Earthjustice's work. The views and opinions expressed in this blog do not necessarily represent the opinion or position of Earthjustice or its board, clients, or funders. Learn more about Earthjustice.