Lung Association Applauds Proposed Standards to Limit Oil and Gas Pollution
Clean air protection will limit industrial methane and toxic pollution, protecting public health
(August 19, 2015) - Washington, DC
Today, in response to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) proposed standards to limit methane pollution and volatile organic compounds from new and modified oil and gas sources, Harold P. Wimmer, National President and CEO of the American Lung Association, issued the following statement:
"The American Lung Association applauds EPA for proposing strong limits on volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and industrial methane from new oil and gas sources as an important step toward protecting the public's health. We call on EPA to propose standards to reduce these dangerous emissions from existing oil and gas sites as soon as possible.
"Limiting VOCs from the oil and gas sector will drive reductions in ozone that causes coughing, wheezing, and asthma attacks. It will also reduce toxic cancer-causing pollutants such as benzene. Emissions of industrial methane and toxic gases pose a recognized occupational hazard for workers and a risk for nearby communities.
"Furthermore, methane is a potent heat-trapping gas that drives global climate change. Climate change is already taking a toll on the lung health of millions of Americans from worsened air quality, extreme heat events, wildfires and more.
"Proven, affordable measures to stop the leaks and venting of methane from both existing and new sources will help the United States meet its commitment to combat climate change and stave off the worst of these impacts.
"Given the significant public health impacts of methane and other oil and gas pollution, as well as the availability of affordable, effective solutions, the American Lung Association urges the EPA to move quickly to address methane pollution from existing oil and gas facilities in addition to new and modified sources. Both are needed to protect the most vulnerable populations today, as well as future generations."