Congress sends strong message that they expect stronger air quality standards
WASHINGTON — The U.S. House of Representatives voted today to stop funding the Environmental Protection Agency’s efforts to institute a new rule regulating soot. Technically known as particulate matter 2.5 (PM 2.5), this air pollution is harmful to human health at the levels being considered by the EPA. Peer-reviewed studies clearly show that a stronger standard is justified and would save many lives. The EPA’s data estimates that even if the air quality around the country met the existing PM 2.5 standard that 50,000 lives would still be prematurely lost.
Andrea McGimsey, senior director for Environment America’s Global Warming Solutions campaign, issued the following statement:
“The EPA’s do-nothing rule is negligent. There is no world in which the agency should decide not to protect Americans from the deadliest form of air pollution. We applaud the House for soundly rejecting EPA’s proposal.
“The ability to go outside and breathe clean air is a basic right, and is more important than ever during the COVID-19 pandemic. The scientists and medical experts have clearly told us that to protect public health, we have to protect clean air — and that’s what we need to do. Congress is sending a clear message: The EPA must stop being laggards on air pollution.
“Environment America and our members have worked for decades to raise awareness of the dangers of air pollution, and we’ve pushed for the federal government to do more to clean up the dirty air in our communities. We thank our congressional leaders, especially the sponsors — Reps. Paul Tonko, Lisa Blunt Rochester, Bobby Rush and Donald McEachin — for reminding the Trump administration to get their focus back on doing more to clean up our air and protect our families’ health.”