American Lung Association Urges Senate to Reject H.R. 4775
Bill would endanger health of Americans, blocking life-saving ozone standards, undermining future health protections from particle pollution, carbon monoxide, lead
(June 8, 2016) - Washington, D.C.
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Today, the U.S. House of Representatives passed H.R. 4775, the Ozone Standards Implementation Act, nicknamed by public health organizations the "Smoggy Skies Act." Harold P. Wimmer, National President and CEO of the American Lung Association, issued the following statement in response:
"The American Lung Association is deeply disappointed by the passage of H.R. 4775 in the U.S. House of Representatives, and calls upon the U.S. Senate to reject this dangerous bill. The 'Smoggy Skies Act' is a sweeping attack on lifesaving protections from air pollution. Not only would it block essential steps to protect Americans from dangerous ozone pollution for years, but it would also permanently weaken the Clean Air Act, undermining future health protections from dangerous pollutants such as particle pollution, carbon monoxide and lead.
"The current ozone limits, adopted in 2015, will better protect the health of our families. The 'Smoggy Skies Act' would block these health protections and force families to wait at least eight more years for lifesaving limits on ozone pollution. The previous ozone limits were inadequate and do not reflect current science. The outdated limits would allow ozone pollution to remain at levels demonstrated to be harmful, particularly for children, seniors and people with asthma and other lung diseases.
"This delay would pose a dangerous attack on public health protections, but the bill goes even further. The 'Smoggy Skies Act' would also permanently weaken the Clean Air Act.
"The Clean Air Act requires air pollution limits to be kept up to date with current science and set at a level that will protect our health with an adequate margin of safety; these official limits have allowed the nation to make great strides in cleaning up dangerous air pollution. But this bill would permanently undermine the Clean Air Act and its science-based requirements that limit ozone, lead, carbon monoxide, particulate matter and other pollutants—requirements that have helped better protect Americans' health for a generation.
"Moreover, parents want and deserve to know when the air outside is harmful, so they can safeguard their children from breathing pollution that current science says threatens their health. By weakening the Clean Air Act's requirements that air pollution standards reflect the current science, this bill could deny parents accurate information about the quality of their air. For parents of children with asthma, this could result in a trip to the emergency room that could have been avoided.
"The Lung Association thanks those members of Congress who voted against the 'Smoggy Skies Act' and prioritized the health of their constituents. Now we call on the Senate to reject this dangerous bill. Everyone has the right to breathe healthy air, and the right to know when air pollution puts their health at risk. The 'Smoggy Skies Act' denies the American people both these rights."
About the American Lung Association
The American Lung Association is the leading organization working to save lives by improving lung health and preventing lung disease, through research, education and advocacy. The work of the American Lung Association is focused on four strategic imperatives: to defeat lung cancer; to improve the air we breathe; to reduce the burden of lung disease on individuals and their families; and to eliminate tobacco use and tobacco-related diseases. For more information about the American Lung Association, a holder of the Better Business Bureau Wise Giving Guide Seal, or to support the work it does, call 1-800-LUNGUSA (1-800-586-4872) or visit: Lung.org.