For Immediate Release
For more information, please contact APHA Communications at (202) 777-2509 or mediarelations@apha.org .

APHA Urges House, Senate to Uphold EPA’s Ability to Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions, Protect Public Health

Washington, D.C., April 6, 2011— The American Public Health Association urges Congress to block efforts to weaken the Clean Air Act by limiting the ability of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, the leading cause of climate change. Both House and Senate are expected to take up the issue today.

“Climate change poses enormous health threats,” said Georges C. Benjamin, MD, FACP, FACEP (E), executive director of the American Public Health Association. “With today’s vote, members of the House and Senate must recognize the enormity of the threats and the overwhelming evidence behind them. Congress needs to let EPA do its job and safeguard the public’s health.”

In response to a U.S. Supreme Court ruling, EPA issued its endangerment finding that grants the agency authority under the Clean Air Act to reduce carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gas emissions from sources such as automobiles, power plants and factories.

“Climate–related health risks such as extreme weather events, increases in air pollutants linked to asthma and other respiratory diseases, and changes in vector-borne disease threaten us all,” said Benjamin. “But the elderly, sick and other vulnerable populations are at greatest risk. Upholding the Clean Air Act and the sensible protections that safeguard Americans and their families is critical. Congress must reject efforts that would do otherwise.”

# # #

Founded in 1872, the APHA is the oldest and most diverse organization of public health professionals in the world. The association aims to protect all Americans and their communities from preventable, serious health threats and strives to assure community-based health promotion and disease prevention activities and preventive health services are universally accessible in the United States. APHA represents a broad array of health providers, educators, environmentalists, policy-makers and health officials at all levels working both within and outside governmental organizations and educational institutions. More information is available at www.apha.org.