Lung Association Commends House Appropriations Committee for Increases in Programs to Protect Health from Air Pollution

In response to the release of the fiscal year 2020 (FY20) House appropriations bill and committee report on Interior, Environment and Related Agencies, American Lung Association National President and CEO Harold P. Wimmer issued the following statement:

“The American Lung Association commends the House Appropriations Committee, its Subcommittee on Interior, Environment and Related Agencies, and Chairs Nita Lowey and Betty McCollum for increasing investments in key programs at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to protect public health from air pollution.

“Chairs Lowey and McCollum have increased investments in EPA’s Clean Air Program; state, local and tribal air quality management grants; and enforcement efforts. Thanks to the Clean Air Act, EPA’s programs have driven dramatic, lifesaving reductions in harmful air pollution. However, as the American Lung Association’s recent 2019 “State of the Air” report shows, climate change is beginning to undo the nation’s progress toward healthy air. Chairs Lowey and McCollum’s increased investments are critical to ensuring that sources of harmful pollution continue to be cleaned up.

“The chairs have also continued funding for EPA’s Radon Program, which helps protect the public from the second leading cause of lung cancer: radon gas. This program and its grants to states are essential to help Americans identify and mitigate this dangerous pollutant in their homes, schools and workplaces.

“The bill would cut funding for programs under the Diesel Emissions Reduction Act, so we urge Senate appropriators to restore or increase this funding.

“In order for these critical investments to be signed into law, Congress must come to a bipartisan agreement to increase the budget caps for FY20 to avoid catastrophic funding cuts that will harm the health of Americans and cost lives. We thank Chairs Lowey and McCollum for their leadership on improving lung health, and we call on the Senate Appropriations Committee to include similar increases for key programs in its FY20 bill. We are encouraged by news reports that indicate a deal to increase the caps is underway, and we encourage all parties to reach a bipartisan agreement to raise the caps. Public health depends on investing in air pollution protections that adequately safeguard Americans, not slashing funding for these lifesaving programs.”

For more information, contact:

Elizabeth Cook
[email protected]

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