Tag Archives: Clean air act

Help protect the public from toxic air pollution ~~ a repost from 2011

Toxic air pollutants from power plantsmercury, lead, arsenic, and others—are linked to health problems such as cancer, heart disease, neurological damage, birth defects, asthma attacks, and even premature death. Mercury, for example, is a potent neurotoxin that poses a threat to fetal and infant brain development. And coal plants are far and away the greatest source of mercury air emissions in the United States.

Shockingly, there are currently no national limits on the amount of mercury and other toxic pollutants that power plants can spew into the environment. This gap in our public health protections is all the more disturbing since the Clean Air Act required the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to start regulating toxic pollutants more than two decades ago. Thankfully, in mid-March, the agency finally proposed a mercury and air toxics rule, which will limit hazardous air pollution from coal- and oil-fired power plants.

Even though the new standards are affordable and would deliver enormous health benefits, some energy companies and their allies in Congress are already working to block or weaken them.

The EPA is now accepting comments on its proposed mercury and air toxics rule. The agency needs to hear from concerned citizens like you, who want a strong rule that protects the public from these dangerous pollutants.

Take Action Today!


Kate Abend

National Field Organizer

UCS Climate and Energy Program


53 days

We can’t let West, Texas happen again.west TX chemical explosion

It’s time for the President to take action. Send a message to President Obama right now and urge the administration to adopt better safety standards for chemical plants!
take action today

greenpeaceRick  Hind, Greenpeace

A small town in Texas will never be the same after fifteen people lost  their lives when a fertilizer plant exploded back in April.

The explosion was so big it registered as a 2.1 magnitude earthquake and destroyed a 37-block area of West, Texas. The most tragic part of it all is that the explosion along with the death and destruction that followed didn’t have to happen.

There are safe, affordable alternatives to the dangerous chemicals like the  ones used in the Texas fertilizer plant available right now. But instead of making the switch, the chemical industry has chosen to spend its money lobbying Congress so that it can keep putting millions needlessly at risk. And up until now, that strategy was working.

Things are changing though. President Obama recently issued a directive to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to develop plans for new safety  measure at chemical plants by November. What happens next is up to us.  It’s your voice versus the chemical industry.

Send a message to President Obama and the EPA right now and urge them to  adopt safety standards that prevent chemical disasters.

You’re likely close enough to a facility that stores or uses deadly chemicals, like chlorine gas, to be at risk if something unexpected were to  happen. Most people in the U.S. are.

Chemical safety isn’t just an environmental issue — it impacts communities everywhere. That’s why we’ve been working closely with a diverse coalition of groups  including labor and environmental justice groups to send a clear message to the administration: the time to act is now.

President Obama has been outspoken on this issue in the past. In fact, back when  he was a Senator from Illinois he had this to say,: “We cannot allow  chemical industry lobbyists to dictate the terms of this debate. We  cannot allow our security to be hijacked by corporate interests.”

Take action and tell President Obama and the EPA that now’s the time to put  those words into action and prevent another disaster like the one in  West, Texas.

A decade ago the EPA proposed using the Clean Air Act to enforce commons  sense rules for chemical plants like the one in West, Texas. For a  decade Congress and two Presidents have been dragging their feet.

Legislation that would address this problem has completely stalled in Congress and  is going nowhere thanks to the deep pockets of the chemical lobby. It’s  up to the President to do the right thing and he needs our support to  make it happen.

If the BP disaster in the Gulf of Mexico, the nuclear disaster in  Fukushima and the West, Texas explosion have taught us anything in the  last couple of years, it’s that disasters happen. There’s no sense for  millions of Americans to remain needlessly at risk from dangerous  chemicals when safer alternatives exist.

Tell President Obama you support him using his authority to do what Congress won’t, and put the safety and health of American citizens ahead of  corporate interests.


Rick Hind Greenpeace Legislative Director

Center for American Progress

Center for American Progress
August 10, 2012| View Online
Soot Pollution 101
What You Need to Know and How You Can Help Prevent It
By Jackie Weidman, Susannah Marshall

Ask the Expert: How Reducing Soot Pollution Can Save Lives
Dr. Christopher Lillis explains why soot is hazardous to our public health, how it affects regular people and the benefits of reducing soot pollution through new Environmental Protection Agency regulations.
Watch the video here.

Earlier this summer the Environmental Protection Agency proposed updated clean-air standards that will prevent tens of thousands of premature deaths. The proposal comes in response to legal action calling upon the EPA to update final regulations for particle pollution. This rule is in line with the Clean Air Act’s requirements to protect public health and improve air quality.
Particle pollution, commonly referred to as “soot,” is one of the deadliest forms of air pollution.
This 101 details why it is essential that the EPA adopts the strictest rules possible to protect Americans from the dangers of breathing these particles.

Tell Congress: Don’t cut off our clean air …Union of Concerned Scientists

Union of Concerned Scientists

Tell Congress: Don’t Cut Off Our Clean Air
As you know, last December, the Obama administration finalized historic standards to limit the amount of mercury and other toxic pollutants that power plants can spew into the environment. And now the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is on the verge of releasing draft standards that will reduce global warming emissions from power plants.

Both of these standards, which will protect our health and the environment, wouldn’t exist if it weren’t for the life-saving Clean Air Act.

Unfortunately, this landmark piece of legislation and its health standards are under attack. Fossil fuel lobbyists and their allies in Congress are spreading false claims about the impacts of these standards on our economy. But protecting our health and the environment is the fiscally responsible thing to do.
The total value of the net benefits provided to Americans by the Clean Air Act since its inception is a staggering $51 trillion and counting.

Nevertheless, Senator Jim Inhofe (R-OK) has introduced legislation that will revoke the historic mercury and air toxics standard, and other members of Congress have announced their plans to block the EPA from reducing global warming emissions under the Clean Air Act.

The Clean Air Act has a 40-year track record of cutting dangerous pollution—all while providing a net economic benefit to the country. The historic mercury and air toxics standard and soon to be released draft standards that will reduce carbon from power plants will save lives and contribute to a much-needed transition to a clean energy economy.
Tell your members of Congress to stop attacking mercury and carbon standards—and stop cutting off our clean air.

Take Action Now!
Sincerely, Chrissy Elles Chrissy Elles Outreach Associate UCS Climate & Energy Program
P.S. Want to expose and challenge attacks on science, help reduce global warming emissions, and advance smart, practical clean energy and transportation solutions?

Become a member of the Union of Concerned Scientists today and help us meet our goal of 1,000 new members by February 29.

We Did It! EPA Finalizes New Mercury and Air Toxics Standards … Earth Day Network

We did it!

Please help us continue our work

This past summer, we asked Earth Day Network supporters to submit public comments to the EPA on the proposed Power Plant Mercury and Air Toxics Standards rule. Thousands of you responded. Today, we learned that thanks to the efforts of people like you in the envrionmental community, the EPA has now finalized these rules.

According to the EPA, reduced emissions from this new air toxics rule will save as many as 17,000 American lives per year by 2015, and will prevent up to 120,000 cases of childhood asthma. On the rule that took 20 years to finalize, EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson said “by cutting emissions that are linked to developmental disorders and respiratory illnesses like asthma, these standards represent a major victory for clean air and public health – and especially for the health of our children.”

Send a note of thanks below to EPA Administrator Jackson for the EPA’s hard work and perseverance on behalf of the American people.

— The Earth Day Network Team