Reactions to the EPA’s cross-state air pollution rule

Jul 8th, 2011 | By | Category: Air pollution, Health, Pollution

Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) finalized Clean Air Act protections that will slash hundreds of thousands of tons of smokestack emissions that travel long distances through the air and threaten the health of hundreds of millions of Americans living downwind. The Cross-State Air Pollution Rule will protect communities that are home to 240 million Americans from smog and soot pollution, preventing up to 34,000 premature deaths, 15,000 nonfatal heart attacks, 19,000 cases of acute bronchitis, 400,000 cases of aggravated asthma, and 1.8 million sick days a year beginning in 2014 – achieving up to $280 billion in annual health benefits.

U.S. Sen. Tom Carper of Delaware
“Today’s Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announcement of the cross-state air pollution rule ensures that all states are good neighbors when it comes to air pollution. My state of Delaware has made great strides in the effort to clean up its own air pollution and as we see with this new rule, those efforts have paid off and we now do not contribute to other state’s pollution problems…”

Albert Rizzo, American Lung Association
“Today’s finalization of the Cross-State Air Pollution Rule is a vital component of the EPA’s effort to protect the health of millions of Americans who live downwind of power plants that belch out life-threatening pollution.”

Rick Sullivan, Massachusetts Secretary of Energy and Environmental Affairs
“Massachusetts congratulates EPA on its issuance of the Cross State Air Pollution Rule. This rule will reduce emissions of harmful air pollutants from large power plants in upwind states, which contribute to unhealthy air in Massachusetts. As a state that has already taken action to significantly reduce power plant pollution, Massachusetts is pleased that EPA is leveling the playing field by requiring power plants in upwind states to follow suit quickly – starting on January 1 2012. Massachusetts residents will breathe easier when that occurs.”

Dr. Georges C. Benjamin, The American Public Health Association
“Too many Americans suffer from life-threatening ozone and air pollution emitted by coal-burning power plants,” said Georges C. Benjamin, MD, FACP, FACEP (E), executive director of APHA. “Today’s ruling is an important and long overdue step to protect the health of Americans and clean up our environment. It’s a huge win-win. We praise EPA for its continued efforts to help create stronger, healthier and more productive communities for ourselves and our families.”

Fred Krupp, Environmental Defense Fund
“These clean air standards for power plant pollution will provide some of the greatest human health protections in our nation’s history,” said EDF President Fred Krupp. “Millions of Americans live downwind from this deadly pollution — from the communities that live in the shadows of these smokestacks to those afflicted by the pollution that drifts hundreds of miles downwind. Today’s clean air protections will help eastern states restore healthy air in communities hard hit by air pollution, and will help all of us live longer and healthier lives.”

Gene Karpinski, League of Conservation Voters
“We applaud the EPA for providing a long overdue update to these necessary clean air standards. The benefits of these efforts to curb toxic air pollution have proven time and again to greatly outweigh the costs, and we commend the agency for taking this important step forward. By finalizing this rule, the EPA will help reduce the spread of harmful pollution across state borders, providing millions of Americans with cleaner air and water in their own cities and across the country.”

Mary Anne Hitt, The Sierra Club
“If you have a child with asthma or a loved one at risk of a heart attack, you can breathe easier today, because these new protections will decrease the chances they will end up in the emergency room.”

Adam Garber, Penn Environment
“Today’s announcement is a victory for Pennsylvania communities that have lived in the deadly shadow of power plant pollution for far too long,” said Adam Garber, Field Director with PennEnvironment. “This action will reduce the impact of toxic emissions from other states and give us a chance to breathe easier with cleaner air.”

More information:

Read more here: 07/07/2011: Here’s What They’re Saying About the Cross-State Air Pollution Rule.


Statement of Bill McLin, President and CEO, Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA)

Commending the Environmental Protection Agency for Adopting Cross-State Air Pollution Rule

July 7, 2011

On behalf of the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA), I commend the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for its action announced today implementing the Cross-State Air Pollution Rule. For the 20 million Americans with asthma (including 6.7 million children), the content of the air they breathe is top of mind, breathing without thinking is not so routine, and they are more likely to sleep poorly at night and miss work or school by day. This rule will cut air polluting sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxide emissions generated by power plants in one state that spread to other states, and will help assure health of residents in neighboring states affected by traveling pollutants. This new rule will help protect the health of those most at risk – children, teens, seniors and people with chronic lung diseases like asthma. According to the EPA, the new Cross-State Air Pollution Rule will prevent between 34,000 premature deaths and 400,000 cases of aggravated asthma by 2014.

We recognize that some critics cite adverse economic impacts of tighter standards. However, the economic burden cuts both ways. Research studies have documented a list of costs that include lost wages for patients and for parents who care for children with asthma, lost productivity for companies that employ them, increased hospital admissions, frequent emergency room visits and multiple treatments to control chronic symptoms.

The economic burden of asthma and other respiratory diseases, cancers and cardiovascular diseases are borne by taxpayers via Medicare and Medicaid, and are being borne by corporations who employ these Americans, pay the costs of health insurance for them and their children, and lose productivity when they are sick or caring for their chronically ill loved ones.

AAFA believes that this EPA action is the right step to help keep Americans with asthma safe and healthy.

(AAFA is an independent, not-for-profit voluntary health association dedicated to improving the quality of life for people with asthma and allergies. AAFA was founded in 1953, by the two leading professional medical organizations in the United States devoted to the allergy/immunology specialty.)

Liana Burns, Policy and Program Assistant, 202-466-7643, x252,

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