Advocates Launch New Video Underscoring Deadly Impact of Soot Pollution in Final Public Comment Push
CAC and its Solutions for Pollution Coalition Sponsored Video Urges the Strongest Possible Soot Standards in Final Weeks of EPA’s Public Comment Period
Washington, DC – With the March 28 public comment period deadline for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) proposed soot pollution standard only weeks away, the Climate Action Campaign (CAC) and its Solutions For Pollution coalition are sprinting to the finish to engage as many Americans as possible to urge EPA to finalize the strongest possible protections.
Today, as part of the final push before the comment deadline, CAC and its Solutions for Pollution coalition launched a new video highlighting the dangers of deadly soot pollution, especially for Black communities and other communities of color in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and nationwide.
“It’s called soot. It’s toxic, it’s deadly, and it’s in the air I’m breathing now,” said Alyssa Lyon, Director of the Black Environmental Collective, standing on the front porch of her Pittsburgh home. “So President Biden and Administrator Regan – please don’t leave our communities behind. We need you to ‘finish the job’ and finalize the strongest possible protections to limit soot pollution now.”
“We know that soot pollution disproportionately harms communities of color,” said Margie Alt, Director of the Climate Action Campaign. “Thanks to the work of folks like Alyssa, the Biden administration is hearing loudly and clearly that they must finish the job by setting the strongest possible soot protections. Far too many lives are at stake.”
This video comes on the heels of a three-day virtual public hearing held by EPA where environmental, public health, and environmental justice advocates urged the Biden administration to finalize a stronger standard than EPA’s inadequate soot pollution standard, which fails to fully protect public health or prevent premature deaths–especially in communities of color and historically overburdened communities. With stronger, updated limits on soot pollution (i.e. no higher than 8 mcg/m3 annual and 25 mcg/m3 daily), the EPA can save nearly 20,000 lives each year, an impact that would be felt most positively in communities already overburdened by pollution.
The Solutions for Pollution coalition has called on EPA to release and finalize the strongest standard possible for many years and began a public advocacy push in fall 2022 following the draft proposal being sent to the White House for review.
The full video script is below, and the video can be viewed here.
It’s called soot. It’s toxic, it’s deadly, and it’s in the air I’m breathing now.
You can’t see it because soot particles are microscopic. But as I inhale, soot is entering my lungs and my bloodstream – right before your eyes.
Soot pollution comes from industrial sources and dirty cars, trucks and power plants–all reliant on burning fossil fuels.
Toxic soot causes cancer.
And asthma attacks.
And heart disease.
It shortens lives, and threatens the health of 20 million Americans.
Studies show that Black populations in the US have the highest mortality rates due to soot exposure.
So President Biden and Administrator Regan – please don’t leave our communities behind.
We need you to “finish the job” and finalize the strongest possible protections to limit soot pollution now.
How many more breaths of toxic air do we have to take before the people in power take action?