The U.S. House of Representatives tonight voted on more controversial amendments to their already controversial 2011 spending plan. House leaders approved an amendment that would block veterans, small businesses and private citizens from recouping attorney’s fees from the government and an amendment that would undo important air rules to limit mercury and other air pollution from cement kilns. House leaders will continue the vote on the spending legislation tonight and possibly into tomorrow.
The following statement is from Martin Hayden, vice president of policy and legislation for Earthjustice:
“The Continuing Resolution is an assault on public health and the environment. They’ve added a measure to the bill that will allow cement kilns to continue chronic emissions of mercury and other hazardous pollution. House leaders also just suspended a law adopted by President Reagan that allows for private citizens, veterans, small businesses and the public to recover fees from the government when their rights have been violated or the government has acted illegally.
“Unfortunately the attacks on public health are not over as House leaders continue to vote on a variety of anti-environmental measures, including one that would allow toxic sludge to fester in Florida’s waters and another that would halt movement toward regulating coal ash as a hazardous waste. There also are several amendments pending that would bar the EPA and other agencies from applying water pollution controls on mountaintop removal coal mining. Stay tuned.”