Lung Associaton Responds to U.S. Court of Appeals Ruling to Vacate the Cross-State Air Pollution Rule

Statement of Jeff Seyler, American Lung Association of the Northeast President & CEO

(August 21, 2012)

"Today’s court ruling is a tremendous setback for the health of residents across our region, especially kids and seniors. It puts polluters before the public’s health.  And it allows out-of-state industries to continue sending their toxic pollution across the Northeast while our children and families pay the price. And that’s just not fair. 

We are frustrated by yet another delay in setting science-based pollution controls. Like the tobacco industry has done for years, coal-fired power companies are using lawyers and lobbyists to block meaningful progress.

Our entire Senate delegation, spanning from Maine through New York, voted to defend this life-saving rule last year, proving once again that healthy air is not a Democratic issue or a Republican issue, but a common sense issue of protecting public health and lowering health costs for everyone. We all pay the price for every asthma attack, every trip to the emergency room, and every heart attack that is brought about by unhealthy air.

The Cross-State Air Pollution Rule is particularly important to Northeast states due to our geographic location and vulnerability to air currents from the south and west. Toxic air pollutants can lead to asthma attacks, lung and heart disease, cancer, and premature death. No parent wants their child needlessly exposed to this level of risk, especially when the pollution is produced ten states away. 

Our air quality affects our health, our ability to work, and our opportunities for recreation. Unhealthy air also costs us millions of dollars annually in avoidable health care costs to individuals, government and businesses. 

How much longer are we going to allow Midwestern polluters to spew their toxic emissions and send them to the Northeast – costing the polluters nothing while our families and businesses pay the price?"

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