ME Public Policy

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2015 Public Policy Priorities:

For questions on current legislation, contact Edward Miller, Senior Vice President, Public Policy for the American Lung Association of the Northeast. 

Protecting the Clean Air Act - Maine's Critical Role

Maine people are under siege.  We are being barraged by pollution from outside our borders.  This pollution is arriving from the factories, power plants, trucks and cars in the Midwest and south of us.  It’s air pollution and it poses a serious health threat to Maine people, especially children, seniors, and people with asthma, lung disease, and heart disease.

If this pollution was coming into Maine in trucks or on ships, I can assure you there would be outrage.  We would be barricading our borders and holding the sources responsible for the clean-up.  But what we’re facing instead is an invisible menace. According to a recent Lung Association report, too many Maine people live in counties with unhealthy air.  Yet Congress is considering dismantling, rather than strengthening, our air quality standards.  This makes no sense and is simply unacceptable.

Maine, more than any other state, needs strong laws at the federal level to reduce the pollution that is rolling in to Maine – all without our consent or control. The Federal Clean Air Act is that law and has been for over 40 years.

Fighting for a strong Clean Air Act is a Maine tradition: the 1970 revisions to this landmark legislation are commonly called The Muskie Act because of the leading role Senator Edmund Muskie played in their creation. In 1990 Maine Senators George Mitchell and William Cohen spearheaded the revisions and reauthorization of this important law. But it is now facing the biggest threat in Congress since its implementation. There are those who want to weaken this law and its ability to protect us from unhealthy air pollution.

Senators Snowe and Collins have figured prominently in these debates and their support is essential to protecting Maine’s air quality.  The Maine Healthy Air Coalition is a group of 60 health care and public health organizations from every corner of the state.  We are committed to bringing healthy air and better health to Maine families and businesses.  We are asking Senators Collins and King to defend the federal Clean Air Act, ensure the EPA’s ability to enforce it, and protect all Americans from toxic air pollution.

The Clean Air Act is part of Maine’s heritage and the key to our future.  Healthy air means children can live longer, healthier lives; it means more opportunities for small business innovation and job creation; and it will result in lower health costs for families and businesses all across Maine.

Thank you for helping us fight for healthy air!

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