Clean Air Watch

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Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Clean Air Watch Urges EPA to Retain Plan to Monitor for Dangerous Pollution Near Major Roads

Clean Air Watch has filed the following comments protesting a proposal by the U.S. EPA to rescind requirements to monitor near major roadways for dangerous nitrogen dioxide pollution:

June 24, 2016

Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OAR-2015-0486

Clean Air Watch, a national not-for-profit clean air watchdog organization, sincerely appreciates the opportunity to comment on the proposed Revision to the Near-road Nitrogen Dioxide Minimum Monitoring Requirements, which was published in the Federal Register on May 16, 2016 (81 Fed. Reg. 30224).

Clean Air Watch respectfully opposes EPA’s proposal to remove the requirement for near-road NO2 monitoring stations in Core Based Statistical Areas (CBSAs) having populations between 500,000 and 1,000,000 persons.

EPA argues that since monitored levels at larger cities have not exceeded its 2010 NO2 ambient air standard, that there is no problem and thus no need to look for it.

This is a specious argument for the following reasons:

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Guest Post: Ontario's Ambitious Plan to Conquer Climate Change

Periodically Clean Air Watch accepts guest posts that we think are of general interest.  Today's post on climate change is by Beth Laurel.
On June 8th, Ontario formally announced the release of its ambitious new plan for long-term environmental sustainability. The Climate Change Action Plan, which builds upon efforts put into motion earlier this spring via legislation known as the Climate Change Mitigation and Low-Carbon Economy Act, aims to drastically reduce greenhouse gas pollution while helping businesses and families in the province make the shift towards a low-carbon economy. 

Though the case has been (convincingly) made time and again that actions mitigating climate change are by far less expensive than options adapting to the impact, politicians continue to trend towards short-sighted solutions. The substantive policy programs enacted by Premier of Ontario and her colleagues encourage hope that Ontario’s “landmark” leap will drive other Canadian provinces and world nations to take action to strengthen the environment for the future.

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Quick Update: House Panel Approves Polluter Plan to Radically Weaken Clean Air Act

A quick update to our most recent post:

Today, in a party-line vote, the House Energy and Commerce Committee approved legislation that would radically weaken the Clean Air Act in order to save money for the oil industry and other polluters.  It was painful to watch this live.

Among other things, this bill, sponsored by Rep. Pete Olson (R-TX) would:

--Demand that the federal government mislead the public about dangerous air pollution.
--Overturn a Supreme Court ruling -- unanimous and written by Scalia, no less! -- which held that national air quality standards should be based only on health science, not cost or "feasibility."
--Grant amnesty to new sources of pollution (how do you spell "fracking") in polluted areas.
--Subject the breathing public to added years of dirty air.
--Ignore public health protect from dirty air when the air is "stagnant."
--Delay scientific reviews of existing air pollution standards.

To sum it up: the oil industry and other big polluters are trying to pay Congress off to get industry off the hook and relieve it of the responsibility of cleaning up. And industry wants to take away the public's right to know if the air is actually clean -- or not.

The legislation is expected next to head to the full House of Representatives, where it likely will be rammed through as it was here.  Anyone at the White House ready to talk veto yet?

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Learn more about the Clean Air Act

The Clean Air Act is the law that defines EPA's responsibilities for protecting and improving the nation's air quality and the stratospheric ozone layer. The last major change in the law, the Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990, was enacted by Congress in 1990. Legislation passed since then has made several minor changes.