Lung Association Applauds Lifesaving Rule to Cut Pollution that Blows Across State Lines

In response to Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) final Federal Implementation Plan to address interstate transport of air pollution for the 2015 ozone standards, Harold Wimmer, National President and CEO of the American Lung Association, issued the following statement:

“Today’s rule is a resounding success for public health and will help improve the air we breathe. Too many communities breathe unhealthy air because pollution from power plants and industrial sources blows across state lines. Air pollution doesn’t respect state boundaries. This rule will curb emissions that contribute to unhealthy levels of ozone in downwind communities and help achieve cleaner air for people who live near polluting sources.  

“Far too frequently, power plant operators have been legally allowed to turn off pollution controls that have already been installed. This rule will require many power plants and other large industrial sources to run the controls they already have or install effective pollution controls. 

“While we called on EPA to put these requirements in place more quickly than the timeline the agency finalized, the rule will still achieve emissions reductions that save lives and improve lung health, especially for children, older adults, pregnant people and individuals with asthma, COPD and other chronic diseases. Furthermore, these benefits will be felt not just for communities far downwind, but also for communities living near power plants and pollution sources, who are disproportionately lower-income communities and communities of color. It is critical that the communities currently experiencing the greatest burden of air pollution receive the most relief.

“Today’s announcement is also an important step in implementing the 2015 National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) for Ozone. At the same time, EPA is reviewing these standards to better reflect what the science shows is safe to breathe. We urge EPA to build on today’s announcement to protect public health from ozone pollution by updating the NAAQS to no higher than 60 parts per billion. Doing so will further improve public health and advance health equity.”
For more information, contact:

Jill Dale
[email protected]

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