More than half of all Americans live in or near places that do not meet federal air quality health standards. Tall smokestacks spew out harmful gases that are blown hundreds of miles, leaving once-healthy communities draped in throat-choking soot and smog.
Today, thanks to the efforts of the Environmental Defense Fund and over 5,000 Care2 members, the EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson announced a new clean air act that will make breathing easier for 240 million people across the eastern United States.
The new “Cross-State Air Pollution Rule,” which will be enacted in 2014, will put heavier restrictions on the amount of sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxide emitted by power plants in 27 eastern states. These gases are two of the main components in soot and smog, and they can travel as far as five states away from their original producers.
The rule will prevent up to 34,000 premature deaths, 15,000 nonfatal heart attacks, 400,000 cases of aggravated asthma and 1.8 million sick days a year. All in all, that adds up to $280 billion in annual health benefits.
The plan was originally proposed under the “good neighbor provision” of the Clean Air Act, which the D.C. circuit courts recently revamped in order to optimize human and environmental health.
It’s time to make cutting air pollution a federal priority. Thank you for joining the Environmental Defense Fund in urging the EPA to take action for our healthy future!
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