Groups Urge Members of Congress to Reject Bill Weakening Air Standards

The Air Quality Standards Implementation Act would weaken the Clean Air Act and expose millions to more toxic air pollution.


Geoffrey Nolan,

Today, a coalition of 32 groups sent a letter to Members of Congress urging them to reject the Air Quality Standards Implementation Act of 2024. The bill would weaken the Clean Air Act, severely limit the use of science-based decision-making, and prioritize industry profits over the right of communities to breathe clean air.

“The Air Quality Standards Implementation Act of 2024 unjustifiably weakens Clean Air Act requirements meant to ensure progress toward reducing smog and soot and lead pollution,” wrote the groups. “It shifts the law from its focus on public health and safe air to economic and technological feasibility for polluting industries. Despite its bland name, this bill represents an extreme attack on the most fundamental safeguards and rights in the Clean Air Act.

The letter comes as the House Energy and Commerce committee holds a legislative hearing to attack the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s recently-released regulations to strengthen particulate matter standards as part of the National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS). The Biden administration’s final rule will prevent thousands of premature deaths, reduce new asthma cases, and reduce the number of hospital visits associated with poor air quality.

“Since 1970, the Federal Clean Air Act has been organized around one governing principle: that the EPA must set health standards based on medical science for dangerous air pollution — including smog, soot, and lead — that is needed to protect all Americans, with ‘an adequate margin of safety’ for vulnerable populations like children, the elderly and asthmatics,” the groups continued. “This legislation eviscerates that principle and protection. We urge you to oppose this legislation, to protect our families and Americans’ rights to clean air.”

Read the full letter.

Smokestocks from industrial facilities.
Air pollution from refineries, chemical plants, and power plants contribute to tens of thousands of premature deaths and hundreds of thousands of asthma attacks every year. (Chris Jordan-Bloch / Earthjustice)

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