Washington, D.C., July 7, 2011 –
The American Public Health Association applauds the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for issuing a ruling today to limit the level of dangerous air pollutants emitted by coal-burning power plants that pose a significant risk to the nation’s health.
Intended to reduce exposure to harmful levels of ozone and air pollution, EPA’s transport rule would place stricter limits on sulfur, nitrogen and toxic emissions that travel across state lines and jeopardize the health of millions of people, particularly seniors, children and those with chronic lung and cardiovascular diseases, and diabetes. According to EPA, today’s air quality improvement ruling could save between 14,000 and 36,000 lives every year from averted heart attacks, strokes and respiratory illnesses. Regulations would be enforced at coal-fired power plants in 28 states and the District of Columbia.
“Too many Americans suffer from life-threatening ozone and air pollution emitted by coal-burning power plants,” said Georges C. Benjamin, MD, FACP, FACEP (E), executive director of APHA. “Today’s ruling is an important and long overdue step to protect the health of Americans and clean up our environment. It’s a huge win-win. We praise EPA for its continued efforts to help create stronger, healthier and more productive communities for ourselves and our families.”
APHA will continue to work with Congress and the Administration to ensure strong public health measures are in place to protect U.S. children and adults from harmful air pollution.