CAC & 28 Leading Environmental, Public Health, and Justice Groups Deliver 100K+ Comments to EPA…

June 20th, 2022

From left to right: Rosemary Enobakhare, EPA; Leslie Fields, Sierra Club; Rev. Dr. Ambrose Carroll, Sr., Green The Church; Katie Huffling, Alliance of Nurses for Healthy Environments

CAC & 28 Leading Environmental, Public Health, and Justice Groups Deliver

100K+ Comments to EPA in Support of Strong Cross State Air Pollution Standard

Also known as the Good Neighbor Plan, EPA’s Proposed Standard Will Reduce Air Pollution and Protect Public Health in Downwind States

(WASHINGTON, D.C.) – Today, the Climate Action Campaign and 28 groups submitted more than 100,000 public comments at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) headquarters in support of the agency’s proposed Cross State Air Pollution Standard. Also known as the Good Neighbor Plan, the proposal would limit harmful air pollution released from power plants and industrial facilities, ultimately safeguarding people across the United States who are unknowingly subjected to dangerous pollution from upwind states.

“Nurses know that pollution does not recognize state lines or boundaries,” said Katie Huffling, DNP, RN, CNM, FAAN, Executive Director of the Alliance of Nurses for Healthy Environments. “When we are exposed to pollution, our bodies do not differentiate the source, state, or facility of origin. This plan will protect residents in dozens of neighboring states who are currently being unknowingly subjected to toxic emissions from plants that are often hundreds of miles away.”

This safeguard will provide up to $18 billion in benefits for the U.S. by 2026, preventing approximately 1,000 premature deaths, 2,400 hospital and emergency room visits, and 1.3 million cases of asthma symptoms. As Congress continues to debate legislation to invest in climate, justice, and jobs, it’s more urgent than ever that the EPA swiftly enact this strong, sensible solution to pollution.

“Green The Church applauds the Biden administration for recognizing this urgent environmental justice and public health need with its Good Neighbor Plan,” said Rev. Dr. Ambrose Carroll, Sr. “I live in Oakland, CA, in EPA’s Region 9. Where I reside in West Oakland is the corridor to San Francisco—a center point for trains, planes, and automobiles. The levels of toxicity from industrial plants, public transit, and the shipping industry have created a cocktail of pollution that is rivaled by few. My neighbors and I recently won a battle against the coal industry, and although we won the battle, the coal industry still desires to move coal through our neighborhood—a neighborhood in which my son, Ambrose Jr., and many other children, already suffer from asthma and other degenerative pollution-based diseases.”

In addition to the public comments, a coalition of 90 groups also sent a letter to EPA Administrator Michael Regan in support of the agency’s proposed Good Neighbor Plan and urged the EPA to adopt the strongest version possible.

“Air pollution knows no boundaries, and the millions of people downwind of power plants and industrial facilities should not be forced to breathe disease-causing smog pollution. It’s past time the fossil fuel power plants and industrial facilities that are polluting communities – in particular, Black and Brown communities already living under the weight of dangerous pollutants – comply with strict air quality standards,” said Leslie Fields, National Director of Policy, Advocacy, and Legal, Sierra Club. “Passing a strong Good Neighbor Plan would prevent a thousand premature deaths annually, as well as avoid over 2,000 hospital and emergency room visits and 470,000 school absence days by 2026. This plan would be a huge victory for public health and the Sierra Club is encouraged by the EPA’s proposal. But now, the agency must advance their mission of protecting human health and the environment by passing the strongest, most health-protective Good Neighbor Plan that science and the law will support, and doing so as quickly as possible.”

The speakers ended the event by thanking the Biden administration for acting swiftly to address dangerous ozone and smog-forming pollution to protect residents of downwind states from neighboring polluters, and urged the EPA to finalize this proposal as quickly as possible.

View photos and videos of the delivery event HERE.

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