Earthjustice, the nonprofit law firm for the environment, is running 30-second radio announcements in Ohio starting today to thank Senator Sherrod Brown for placing the health of Ohio kids and families first when it comes to toxic air pollution. On March 8, Sen. Brown voted no on an amendment that would have exempted major industrial power plants—the nation’s second worst toxic air polluters—from being responsible for reducing dangerous and deadly air pollution from their facilities. The announcements will run more than 500 times over the next week.
“Ohio is one of the states that suffers most from the mercury, lead and fine particle emissions of industrial power plants,” said Marty Hayden, Vice President of Policy and Legislation at Earthjustice. “That impacts Ohio’s children. They can’t vote, they may not read the papers, many can’t even walk yet. But thanks to Sen. Brown’s courageous vote, more of them can breathe.”
According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, air pollution from industrial power plants causes up to 8,100 premature deaths, 5,100 heart attacks and 52,000 asthma attacks every year—children, the elderly, and individuals with pre-existing respiratory and heart problems face the greatest risk. Amendments made to the Clean Air Act more than two decades ago required industrial power plants to reduce their toxic emissions, but these facilities have managed to avoid that responsibility until now. Sen. Brown’s vote means that Ohio and the nation are one step closer to cleaner air.
Ohio ranks first among states in baseline lead and chromium emissions and second in baseline mercury emissions from industrial power plants. In February, Earthjustice released an analysis of data from the U.S. EPA that identified the name and location of industrial power plants that will need to clean up under new air standards and what pollutants they’re emitting. For more information on facilities in Ohio, please visit http://earthjustice.org/boilers.