Congress returns with Clean Air Act in its sights

(August 30, 2011)

After a brief break, Congress returns in September and the fight for Healthy Air resumes in full force. The leadership of the U.S. House of Representatives announced plans to roll back many protections of the Clean Air Act, while some in the Senate will join in. With your help, the American Lung Association will continue to fight back and protect this critical public health law.

Here’s what we know will happen.

Multiple SmokestacksHouse Majority Leader Eric Cantor has announced that beginning the week of September 19 the House will try to repeal protective standards already in place and to prevent the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) from following the law. First on the list: the proposed standards to update power plant mercury and air toxics emissions and the just finalized rules cutting pollution that crosses state lines. In early October, they plan to take on standards that EPA is already modifying that would clean up cement kilns, and industrial, commercial and institutional boilers. They intend on targeting the ozone and particle pollution health standards over the winter.

Fortunately, the American Lung Association volunteers and staff, along with our medical and public health partners have worked during August to educate the public and meet with members of Congress while they were back home. Volunteers and others from several key districts and states are planning on traveling to the U.S. Capitol on September 21st to meet with their members of Congress to keep the pressure on and put the human face on air pollution. And across the country, you’ll see people wheeling our newest symbol of the campaign—the red carriage—to call attention to the need to protect public health, just as volunteers who were completing the Big Ride did when they arrived in the nation’s capital on August 6.

The Lung Association will need your help. We’ll have many opportunities for you to let your members of Congress know that you support EPA and their ability to protect our health from harmful air pollution. Please be ready to make your voice heard. Send a message to your member of Congress today.