Poughkeepsie Journal (Letter to the editor): Join A.G. in Defense of Clean Air Act

(February 13, 2011)

Poughkeepsie Journal Logo

February 13, 2011

The Poughkeepsie Journal's recent editorial ("A.G's 1st lawsuit targets polluter," Jan. 28) applauded Attorney General Eric Schneiderman for filing suit against a Pennsylvania power plant whose emissions violate the Clean Air Act. This is the kind of action New Yorkers deserve and expect to see from their elected officials.

Our nation recently celebrated the 40th anniversary of the Clean Air Act, one of the most successful pieces of environmental legislation ever passed. But the fight for healthier air is far from being won.

Despite our successes, our State of the Air Report 2010 showed that more than 12 million New Yorkers still live in counties where failing air quality endangers their lives and health. The fight also continues because the Clean Air Act itself is being threatened in the halls of Congress. Some members of Congress have already drafted legislation to roll back the Clean Air Act and cut funding for the Environmental Protection Agency.

The Clean Air Act has drastically reduced the amount of pollutants being emitted into the air. The quality of our air directly affects our lung health and our quality of life.

It is imperative that New York's congressional delegation lead the effort to ensure that the Clean Air Act is protected and that states' attorneys general, like Schneiderman, have the tools they need to hold polluters accountable.

Scott T. Santarella
President and CEO, American Lung Association in New York
White Plains