Friday, October 3, 2008

“…the missed opportunity means that thousands will suffer ...

...more and die sooner than they should,” said Bernadette Toomey, President and CEO of the American Lung Association (ALA). She was speaking about the EPA chief’s efforts to “weaken and undermine the Clean Air Act itself.”

In March, 2008, the EPA announced a tightening of the health-based National Ambient Air Quality Standard for ozone pollution. The lung association criticized it as falling, “far short of the requirements of the Clean Air Act—and of what EPA’s own scientific advisors had recommended.

Two to three times as many people could have been protected from an early death from their exposure to ozone if EPA had followed the scientists’ recommendations, according to the EPA’s own estimates.”

Ozone is another word for smog. (Ironically, some indoor air cleaners actually emit it as they operate.)

EPA did not live up to the law it was intended to enforce.

In 2006, a federal appeals court struck down an attempt by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to weaken national rules limiting smog linked to asthma attacks, increased hospitalizations, and that puts millions of Americans at risk for respiratory problems. In a unanimous ruling, the court held that EPA violated the Clean Air Act in relaxing limits on smog-forming pollution from large power plants, factories, and other sources in cities violating health standards. Earthjustice brought the court challenge on behalf of the American Lung Association, Environmental Defense, Sierra Club, and Natural Resources Defense Council.”

Despite that ruling and the scientists’ stand for stronger ozone reduction, read what happened this year.

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