American Lung Association Celebrates Landmark Victory for Clean Air Act, Public Health

EPA settlement with Tennessee Valley Authority to provide up to $27 billion in annual health benefits

Washington, D.C. (April 15, 2011)

The American Lung Association is heartened by the settlement made yesterday between the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) to resolve alleged Clean Air Act violations at 11 of TVA’s coal-fired plants in Alabama.

This is a landmark victory for the health and safety of all Americans. At a time when the Clean Air Act is under assault by some in Congress who wish to weaken it, the benefits of its enforcement cannot be more evident.

The new and upgraded pollution controls that TVA is required to install will prevent approximately 1,200 to 3,000 premature deaths, 2,000 heart attacks and 21,000 cases of asthma attacks each year, resulting in up to $27 billion in annual health benefits.

Also owing to Clean Air Act protections, TVA is required to invest $350 million on clean energy projects that will reduce pollution, save energy and protect public health and the environment.

If left unchecked, pollution such as that being spewed out of TVA’s 11 plants in Tennessee, Kentucky, and Alabama continue a decades-long threat to our nation’s public health. We are pleased with the legal action that was taken by EPA, as well as the end result.  The American Lung Association has taken part in legal actions to support requiring TVA to clean up these plants for many years.

No American should have to fear the ramifications of breathing in toxic air, and now those in Alabama and neighboring states will be able to breathe a little easier.


Editor’s Note: On March 8, the Lung Association released Toxic Air: The Case for Cleaning Up Coal-fired Power Plants, a report detailing the dangerous mix of toxic air pollutants that flow from the stacks of uncontrolled coal burning power plants and the adverse health effects associated with these pollutants.  The report also discussed the technologies that are available for dramatically cutting these emissions.

To learn more about this issue or download a copy of the report, please visit

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 Charity Navigator Four Star Charity and 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