Nathan Willcox,
Environment America

U.S. House Sides with Polluters and Endangers 32,500 Lives

For Immediate Release

In a move supported by major polluters, the U.S. House of Representatives voted for two bills that block critical public health protections for mercury and other dangerous air toxics. Blocking these protections could result in 32,500 premature deaths and more than 200,000 asthma attacks nationwide.

“It is unacceptable that the House voted to poison our families by giving a free pass to major mercury polluters,” said Lauren Randall, Clean Air Associate for Environment America. “It is deeply disappointing that members of the U.S. House of Representatives voted to endanger lives, and we urge our Senators to stand up for Americans’ health and oppose these bills.”

Late last week and today, the House passed two bills that would block the clean-up of toxic pollution from cement plants (H.R. 2681) and incinerators and boilers (H.R. 2250). The bills prevent the Environmental Protection Agency from issuing final toxic pollution standards for these facilities for 15 months, and then eliminate any deadlines by which polluters must meet final standards once they are issued. This indefinitely delays compliance with toxic air pollution standards for facilities, allowing more mercury, arsenic, lead, and toxins into our communities. These toxins have been linked to cancer, heart disease, neurological damage, birth defects, asthma attacks and premature death.

“Our Representatives should be looking out for Americans’ health and wellbeing, not siding with polluters,” said Randall. “We urge our Senators to put Americans’ safety first and oppose these bills.”