Final EPA Rule Ignores Clean Air Benefits and Endangers Public Health

In response to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA’s) final rule, “Increasing Consistency in Considering Benefits and Costs in the Clean Air Act Rulemaking Process,” American Lung Association President and CEO Harold Wimmer issued the following statement: 

“The rule EPA announced today attempts to undermine future limits on air pollution. This benign-sounding update will deliberately discount the health benefits of air pollution standards, which would artificially reduce the ‘value’ of air pollution cleanup.

“Clean Air Act standards are cost-effective, in part because cleaning up one pollutant often leads to measures that reduce other pollutants as well. This is good news because steps the nation takes to clean up toxic air pollutants, including mercury and acid gases, have saved thousands of lives thanks to reductions of particle pollution in our air at the same time.

“Today’s final rule from EPA poses a threat to health because when the agency analyzes the costs and benefits of potential new clean air rules, they will now be allowed to ignore the health benefits of cleaning up additional air pollution. This is extremely alarming, especially as we learn more about the health harms of air pollution, including the fact that exposure to particle pollution over the long term can increase the risk of death from COVID-19 by 11%. 

“Occurring just weeks before the transition to new administration, this rule is the second dangerous rollback finalized into law by EPA this week alone. What’s more, both this final rule and Monday’s final decision to not update outdated particle pollution limits are effective immediately – violating precedent, good policymaking, and the law. 

“We call on President-elect Biden to immediately act to repeal this dangerous rule when he takes office.”

For more information, contact:

Elizabeth Cook
[email protected]

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