Posts tagged: Clean Air Act

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Clean Air Act


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Everyone has The Right To Breathe clean air. Watch a video featuring Earthjustice Attorney Jim Pew and two Pennsylvanians—Marti Blake and Martin Garrigan—who know firsthand what it means to live in the shadow of a coal plant's smokestack, breathing in daily lungfuls of toxic air for more than two decades.

Coal Ash Contaminates Our Lives. Coal ash is the hazardous waste that remains after coal is burned. Dumped into unlined ponds or mines, the toxins readily leach into drinking water supplies. Watch the video above and take action to support federally enforceable safeguards for coal ash disposal.

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View Brian Smith's blog posts
03 March 2011, 5:56 PM
The latest cluck from clean air "Chicken Littles"
The sky is falling again

The National Petrochemical & Refiners Association put out a press statement today. As they have for the last 40 years, the pollution lobby warns that stronger standards will cause massive disruption.

"It [new ozone standards] will have a great, and again potentially very negative, impact on the prospects for job creation and retention over the next decade. And its impact on American citizens – the motorists, truckers, farmers and families that drive our great nation – will be felt for years to come."

The NPRA advises the EPA to do nothing. Keep the old standard. They promise to develop cleaner fuels without new regulations.

Just a few problems with this line of argument.

View Liz Judge's blog posts
03 March 2011, 2:45 PM
Reversing commonsense progress is the new favorite pastime of House leaders
Rep. Fred Upton

"Doh!" should be the motto of the new majority in the House, but here's one from House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) that might work as well: "The New Majority - Plasticware Is Back."

Boehner tweeted this, or should I say taunted this, on Monday, boasting about a move orchestrated by him and his GOP colleagues in the House to undo the efforts of his predecessor Rep. Nancy Pelosi to green the Capitol. As my colleague Tom Turner revealed today,  Pelosi transformed Capitol cafeterias by bringing in environmentally friendly foods and serving utensils. This week, Boehner and his buddies in Congress did away with the biodegradable dishware and brought back foam cups. The folks in Congress are now years behind most school districts and eateries in this country. Cue the applause for Mr. Boehner and his cohorts.

Another "Doh!" moment has been slowly playing out in the House for the last two months. Rep. Fred Upton (R-MI) has been leading the charge in the House to stop the EPA from limiting the carbon dioxide pollution of the nation's biggest polluters.

View Raviya Ismail's blog posts
01 March 2011, 1:33 PM
Lifesaving total will increase to 230,000 in 2020

Despite the House GOP majority attempting to quash our clean air, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is serious about our right to breathe. Today, the agency released a report that champions the Clean Air Act as a lifesaver, health protector – and economic bolster. The report analyzed effects of the Clean Air Act on the economy, public health and the environment between 1990 and 2020.

The analysis finds that the benefits of the Clean Air Act will reach an estimated $2 trillion in 2020. In that year alone, 230,000 lives will be saved. The analysis concludes that the direct benefits of this important law significantly exceed costs to industry from installing air pollution controls.

View Raviya Ismail's blog posts
25 February 2011, 12:18 PM
North Carolina resident thanks Rep. Mike McIntyre in a letter
Rep. Mike McIntyre

<Correction: This item has been amended to show that Rep. McIntyre did not participate in the specific vote on the cement kiln rule.>

 

This week has been a welcome reprieve from the madness in the House of Representatives last week. Among the many environmental amendments passed in the House budget plan is one that blocks regulations of mercury and other air pollution emanating from cement plants. Despite the calm after the storm, we’ve got continued movement from folks on the ground to push against these ludicrous proposals.

Allie Sheffield of Topsail, North Carolina (among her many efforts has been a trip to Washington, DC recently to lobby her state congressional representatives) had another letter placed in a North Carolina newspaper. In her letter, she thanks Rep. Mike McIntyre (D-NC) for not voting on an amendment that would undo important cement kiln rules. He also voted against the entire House budget (one of 189 congressmen to do so).

View Jessica Knoblauch's blog posts
25 February 2011, 3:17 AM
Nuclear dilemmas, thin mint massacre, airborne heart attacks
Maine Gov. Paul LePage recently said that in a worst case scenario BPA exposure may give women "little beards." Photo courtesy of anthonyturducken.

EU moves forward on chemical regs while U.S. gets bearded females
The European Union recently announced that it will ban six toxic substances under its Registration, Evaluation, Authorization & Restriction of Chemicals (REACH) program, reports Chemical & Engineering News. The landmark move, which includes phasing out three plastic softening chemicals and a flame retardant, stands in stark contrast to the U.S.'s chemical romance, particularly with the controversial chemical, Bisphenol A (BPA), a plastic additive that messes with people's hormones and is found in levels twice as high in Americans than in Canadians. But not to worry, says Maine's Gov. Paul LePage. The worst that could happen is that BPA exposure might cause women to start growing "little beards." 

Breathing dirty air triggers more heart attacks than doing cocaine
This should perk you up. Researchers have found that breathing dirty air triggers more heart attacks than doing cocaine, reports Reuters, a scary notion considering that you can't exactly avoid air pollution unless you want to walk around all day in a gas mask. The U.S. EPA recently issued new rules that will limit air pollution from industrial boilers and incinerators, but we still have a long way to go in cleaning up our air. Declare your right to breathe clean air today.

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View Brian Smith's blog posts
23 February 2011, 5:52 PM
Increased protections for our right to breathe
Earthjustice attorney Jim Pew has fought for these protections for over a decade.

The EPA today issued its final standard to protect Americans from the toxic air pollution emitted by industrial facilities like chemical plants, refineries and paper mills.

Across the country more than 200,000 industrial boilers, heaters and incinerators operated for decades nearly unregulated, though they are major contributors of toxic air pollutants like lead, arsenic, and acid gases. Today’s announcement will save thousands of lives, and prevent thousands of cases of asthma attacks, heart attacks and hospital visits.

View Marty Hayden's blog posts
19 February 2011, 9:40 AM
House leaders give industry handouts and cut public health protections

 It’s a shame that it took the House days and many late night and early morning hours to come up with a budget plan like this. And during the wee hours of 4:35 a.m. the final roll call counted a vote of 235 to 189. And just like that our elected leaders eliminated safeguards for our air, water and wildlife.

The House voted to turn Florida’s once-clear waters into poisonous blooms of green slime. It also gave polluters the green light to continue choking our air with mercury pollution from cement kilns, to dump toxic coal ash in communities nationwide, to blow up the mountains of Appalachia and to endanger salmon and slaughter our wolves. Our elected leaders also took aim at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, limiting them from curbing the carbon dioxide pollution of the nation's biggest polluters, which they are lawfully required to do.

 In more detail, some of the most harmful amendments adopted:

View Liz Judge's blog posts
18 February 2011, 4:15 PM
House lawmakers continue to slash essential protections for the American public

As I write this, members of the House of Representatives continue to debate and move their way through votes on hundreds of amendments to the chamber's government spending bill. The voting and debate has been a marathon process, stretching from morning through late at night for the last three days, and looks to carry on until late tonight or tomorrow.

Once the amendments are voted on and settled, the whole House will cast a final vote on the entire bill package with all the passed amendments. Then the Senate takes its turn, crafting a spending bill of its own. The two chambers must then confer and agree on one bill that funds the federal government by March 4 -- or the government must shut down until its spending and funding sources are settled.

The amendments that the House is currently considering are wide-ranging. They aim to cut government spending by cutting the funding streams of hundreds of government programs. So, instead of ending those programs through legislation and appropriate voting, many members of the House are seeking to delete the programs by wiping out the funds that keep them going.

View Raviya Ismail's blog posts
18 February 2011, 12:17 PM
House majority environmental attacks continue today
The EPA is a main target of Republicans

Here is a quick update on the spending bill nonsense taking place in the U.S. House of Representatives:

Last night, as House leaders continued their marathon vote of their budget bill, they voted to dismantle a crucial set of air rules that would save up to 2,500 lives and slash mercury and other air pollution from cement kilns. These EPA health protections are supposed to take effect in 2013, and would cut cement plants’ mercury emissions by 92 percent and yield up to $18 billion in health benefits. Rep. John Carter (R-TX) sponsored the amendment, which is a continued attack from the Texas congressman beginning last month, when he introduced the Congressional Review Act to disable these air protections.

View Jessica Knoblauch's blog posts
18 February 2011, 5:00 AM
Breathing rights, Windy City soot, climate change meddling
Drop that soda! It may give you cancer. Photo courtesy of fimoculous.

Soft drinks' light hue may have a dark side
Soft drinks have been under heavy scrutiny lately for their use of aspartame, a fake sweetener that, though calorie-free, may just also give you cancer. Unfortunately, that's not the only carcinogen found in pop (or soda, if you're the coastal type). A recent Center for Science in the Public Interest report unveiled that achieving that caramel brown hue seen in most beverages involves heating a chemical soup of ingredients that creates a carcinogenic chemical called 4-methylimidazole, reports Grist. Add that to the fact that most pop is found in BPA-laden aluminum cans and you just may want to switch to water—the kind from the tap, of course

Americans confirm that they love breathing
Americans are having a love affair with breathing, according to a recent American Lung Association study. Despite Republicans' best efforts to prove otherwise, the public wants the EPA to clean up our air and also wants Congress to butt out of the process, reports Grist. And it's not just Democrats who feel this way. Independents and even a majority of Republicans support strengthening air quality standards. That's why Earthjustice is working hard to defend our clean air standards. Because everyone has a right to breathe

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