Tuesday, the American Lung Association delivered comments from more than 290 health professionals and more than 3,660 members of the public to urge the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to strengthen, and then quickly finalize the National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) for particulate matter air pollution.
The Lung Association joined 13 national health, medical and nursing organizations and 77 local health organizations in submitting comments in support of stronger standards. Lawmakers are also joining this effort with over 87 members of Congress sending a letter to EPA Administrator Regan urging the most health protective standards. The comment period closes today for the EPA’s proposed rule.
“The update to the particle pollution standards is greatly needed. Unfortunately, EPA’s proposal is inadequate to protect public health from this pollutant. The science is clear that particle pollution can cause serious health harms and can even be deadly. The American Lung Association and other health and medical organizations are calling on EPA to choose the most protective levels recommended by the majority of the Clean Air Scientific Advisory Committee – 8 µg/m3 for the annual standard and 25 µg/m3 for the 24-hour standard – and finalize them. Once EPA finalizes strong new standards, communities across the U.S. with unhealthy levels of pollution will begin work to improve their air quality,” said Harold Wimmer, National President and CEO of the American Lung Association.
“The public wants clean, healthy air. In a recent poll, 74% of American voters voiced their support for stricter limits on particle pollution,” said Wimmer. “A strong majority (65%) agreed with the American Lung Association’s position that EPA should ‘reconsider its decision and place stricter standards that align with the strong standards that were recommended by its scientific advisors.’”
“It is crucial that the Biden administration finalize the science-based, more protective standards needed to help deliver on their commitment to clean up air pollution, address climate change, and advance environmental justice,” added Wimmer.
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 Platinum-Level GuideStar Member, call 1-800-LUNGUSA (1-800-586-4872) or visit: Lung.org. To support the work of the American Lung Association, find a local event at Lung.org/events.