Newsday (Letter to the Editor): Senate Should Pass Clean Heating Oil Bill

(March 17, 2010)

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Letters
March 17, 2010

The American Lung Association in New York is hopeful that a bill before the State Senate to require the use of cleaner home heating oil is acted upon quickly . This legislation would improve both air quality and public health by reducing the sulfur content in home heating oil.

Exhaust particles that form from the use of sulfur- laden oil exacerbate allergies, trigger asthma attacks, decrease lung function, cause heart attacks and shorten life expectancy. And when we consider that New York leads the nation in the number of homes heated by oil, it's clear that this bill has the potential to dramatically improve the quality of air we all breathe. If it were enacted, the effect on our air would be equivalent to shutting down two and a half of New York's dirty old coal-fired power plants.

The Senate has a real opportunity to improve our air quality and the public health by passing this commonsense legislation immediately.

Scott T. Santarella

Hauppauge

Editor's note: The writer is president of the American Lung Association in New York.