Lung Association Applauds Methane Rule that Will Help Curb Climate Change and Air Pollution

In response to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) releasing their final rule to reduce methane pollution from the oil and gas industry, the American Lung Association’s President and CEO Harold Wimmer issued the following statement:  

“Today’s final rule is a victory for public health. EPA heeded the urgent guidance of health experts across the country and finalized a strong methane rule that, when fully implemented, will significantly reduce hazardous air pollutants and climate-warming methane pollution from the oil and gas industry. We are particularly pleased that the final rule will eliminate routine flaring at new wells. This step, which the agency strengthened from the proposed rule, will increase protections for communities from the harmful air pollution that comes from the practice of flaring.

“Curbing pollution from the oil and gas industry is critical to protecting public health. Methane gas is 80 times more potent than carbon dioxide in its warming power as a greenhouse gas. Methane has been shown to leak into the atmosphere during every stage of the oil and natural gas production process. Climate change is a public health emergency and is worsening health disparities of air pollution.

“Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) from oil and gas operations form ground-level ozone pollution and can cause cancer, affect the nervous system and cause birth defects. People who live near oil and gas wells are especially vulnerable to these exposure risks. This rule and other actions to curb pollution from oil and gas wells are vital to advancing environmental justice commitments.

“When implemented, the new limits that EPA finalized today will help communities who have long suffered the health harms of oil and gas drilling near where they live, work and play. We applaud the Biden administration and EPA for this major step to improve public health and promote health equity.

“Today’s announcement is an accomplishment of one of the action items on this administration’s clean air and climate change regulatory agenda, but much more work is left to do. We’re calling on President Biden and EPA to next finalize much stronger national standards to limit particle pollution, followed by additional measures to clean up trucks, cars and power plants. The Lung Association, health experts, and people nationwide agree: Don’t Delay, Clean Air Today!”

For more information, contact:

Jill Dale
312-940-7001
[email protected]

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