American Lung Association of Montana Releases Top Priorities of 2013 “Healthy Air Agenda”

(February 12, 2013)

Contact:
Kim Davitt
Montana Initiatives Manager
kdavitt@lungmtpacific.org
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American Lung Association of Montana Releases Top Priorities of 2013 “Healthy Air Agenda”
Agenda summarizes necessary steps in coming year for reducing air pollution and protecting Montana’s families

Today, the American Lung Association of Montana released the priorities of its 2013 “Healthy Air Agenda,” a plan of action for the Obama Administration and the 113th Congress that will ensure the Clean Air Act is implemented and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) maintains its authority to ensure all Americans can have air that is safe and healthy to breathe.  Despite the ongoing interference from Big Polluters and some Members of Congress, the Lung Association of Montana and its allies have made progress on cleaning up the air and will work to continue to do so throughout the coming year, using the Agenda as a roadmap.

The Agenda is organized into four key areas of focus with additional details as to which regulations, rules or activities will remain of focus within each area.  These include:

• Smokestacks – Clean up coal-fired power plants (both existing and new)
Power plants, in particular those fired by coal, are a major source of hazardous pollutants, and are also the biggest source of carbon pollution that is linked to climate change.
• Tailpipes – Clean up gasoline and vehicles
The EPA needs to update standards to control smog-forming and particle pollution from passenger vehicles by reducing the amount of sulfur in gasoline and setting tighter tailpipe pollution limits on new vehicles.
• Funding Research & Enforcement
Preventing additional cuts to the EPA will enable the agency to effectively monitor air quality, implement critical air quality programs to protect public health and meet national clean air goals.
• Implementation without weakening or delays
To truly improve the health of millions of people across the nation and save thousands of lives every year, full implementation of all Clean Air Act updates, rules, and standards is needed – without threats to these life-saving protections.

“In the coming year, it is important that polluted air continue to be viewed and understood as a pervasive threat, affecting our most vulnerable populations here in Montana,” said Kim Davitt of the American Lung Association of Montana. “The Healthy Air Agenda is intended to serve as a helpful tool to educate our partners and supporters as to what needs to be done in 2013 in order to continue to successfully clean up our air and save lives.”

More than 159 million Americans live in areas where the level of air pollution threatens their health. Due to vehicle emissions, forest fires, valley inversions and other factors, poor air quality and bad air days are a fact of life in several Montana communities each year. Some of those who are most vulnerable include children, seniors, those with lung disease, heart disease and diabetes, people with low incomes, and those who work and exercise outdoors.

By identifying these four critical areas of focus, and key solutions for addressing each, the Lung Association of Montana will be able to devote focused efforts to the life-saving work that protects the Clean Air Act and the health of millions of people across the country and here in Montana.

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About the American Lung Association
Now in its second century, the American Lung Association is the leading organization working to save lives by improving lung health and preventing lung disease. With your generous support, the American Lung Association is “Fighting for Air” through research, education and advocacy. 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 LUNG USA (1 800 586 4872) or visit www.lung.org.


American Lung Association • 1301 Pennsylvania Ave., NW • Washington, DC 20004-1725
1-800-LUNG-USA (1-800-586-4872) •  www.Lung.org