Today, the House Appropriations Committee voted to advance the FY 2018 Department of the Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, which delays lifesaving ozone protections and cuts FY 2018 funding for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) by an estimated 6.6 percent from the previous year. Harold P. Wimmer, National President and CEO of the American Lung Association, issued the following statement in response:
"The American Lung Association is disappointed the House Appropriations Committee voted to advance a spending bill that delays ozone cleanup and cuts funding for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
"Policy riders have no place in a spending bill – including the rider that would delay lifesaving limits on ozone pollution for at least eight years, leading to premature deaths and asthma attacks that could have been prevented.
"While the bill does fund important programs to reduce radon and clean up dirty diesel vehicles, the overall cuts to EPA are unacceptable. EPA, states and tribes cannot carry out their lifesaving work to implement the Clean Air Act without adequate funding. The dramatic cuts proposed by this spending bill would result in greater exposure to dangerous air pollution for millions of Americans, increasing their risk for asthma attacks, heart attacks, lung cancer and premature death.
"The American Lung Association strongly opposes the FY 2018 Interior and Environment appropriations bill advanced today, and calls on all House members to vote 'no' should the bill be taken up on the floor. We urge members of Congress to oppose appropriations legislation that does not adequately fund EPA or contains harmful policy riders. Americans' health depends on it."
About the American Lung Association
The American Lung Association is the leading organization working to save lives by improving lung health and preventing lung disease through education, advocacy and research. The work of the American Lung Association is focused on four strategic imperatives: to defeat lung cancer; to champion clean air for all; to improve the quality of life for those with lung disease and their families; and to create a tobacco-free future. For more information about the American Lung Association, which has a 4-star rating from Charity Navigator and is a Gold-Level GuideStar Member, or to support the work it does, call 1-800-LUNGUSA (1-800-586-4872) or visit: Lung.org.