For Immediate Release
Washington DC: 202-547-1141
San Francisco: 415-977-5500
Sierra Club Applauds New Smog Pollution Proposal for Children and Elderly
EPA’s new smog pollution proposal will protect public health, save billions in health costs, and hold polluters accountable for their pollution
WASHINGTON - Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released a new smog pollution proposal to lower the current 75 parts per billion (ppb) standard to one in the range of 65 ppb to 70 ppb, while also seeking comment on setting it as low as 60 ppb. The standard was last updated in 2008 when the Bush administration rejected the recommendations of expert scientists and medical health professionals, who warned 75 ppb was insufficient to protect public health and would leave too many Americans in harm’s way. Over the past six years, scientists, medical experts, and public health advocates have consistently highlighted the need for a stronger standard and have pointed to an ever-growing body of scientific literature that demonstrates significant harm to public health, particularly in vulnerable populations like children, the elderly, and those with breathing ailments like asthma and Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD).
In response, Mary Anne Hitt, Sierra Club’s Beyond Coal Campaign Director, issued the following statement:
“We applaud the EPA proposal to lower the existing standard, and strongly encourage the agency to limit this pollution to 60 ppb when they finalize the exact standard in October of 2015. A 60 ppb standard will be a breath of fresh air for thousands of Americans who suffer needlessly with asthma attacks, nervous system disorders and heart ailments when exposed to smog pollution.
“The EPA has raised the mantle of putting people before polluters and holding negligent companies accountable for what they expose our communities to. Choosing to lower the standard from 75 ppb is a tremendous step toward putting the health of children above polluters, and we hope the EPA takes another one and places the final standard at 60 ppb come October of 2015.
“The EPA’s decision to side with children’s health contributes greatly to the integrity of the agency’s efforts towards transparency. From coast to coast, newspapers, school boards, and community organizations depend on the EPA to provide them with the most accurate measurements of air pollution available and the new proposal does just that.”
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The Sierra Club is the oldest and largest grassroots environmental organization in the United States. It was founded on May 28, 1892 in San Francisco, California by the well-known conservationist and preservationist John Muir, who became its first president. The Sierra Club has hundreds of thousands of members in chapters located throughout the US, and is affiliated with Sierra Club Canada.