Moms Clean Air Force was out in full force as 63 members from 21 states and Washington, DC, delivered oral testimony at the Environmental Protection Agency’s methane virtual public hearings last week. A diverse group of moms representing Black, Latino, and Indigenous communities, healthcare workers, youth, and frontline communities supported a comprehensive EPA rule to cut methane and other harmful air pollutants from oil and gas operations. And we were in good company as approximately 99% of the 289 people who gave testimony during the three-day public hearing were also in support of EPA’s proposed methane rule.
Moms Clean Air Force thanked EPA for making the health-protective improvements to the rule that we asked for in 2021. These included monitoring of methane pollution at all oil and gas wells and replacing equipment that is known to malfunction. We’ll continue to push for a comprehensive rule that considers frontline community members and those most impacted by methane pollution.
The proposal from EPA would reduce methane pollution from oil and gas operations by 87% below 2005 levels. Swift finalization of this rule is an important step toward addressing the climate crisis and protecting the health of families across the country.
Here are some testimony excerpts from Moms Clean Air Force:
“Quickly and significantly reducing methane pollution and other harmful air pollutants from oil and gas operations is one of the best levers we have to slow the rate of climate change now and help clean up the air to protect children’s health. I urge EPA to strengthen the proposed rule by limiting flaring only for safety reasons and expanding standards to cover more storage tanks.” –Patrice Tomcik, who lives in Pennsylvania and has two sons who attend school near gas wells
“Federal regulations are extremely important because, even as New Mexico has issued a state rule curbing methane pollution, the reality is that we are impacted by methane pollution that does not respect state boundaries. It is in the air, the wind, and it spreads.” –Celerah Hewes, who lives in New Mexico, where she was a strong advocate for the state methane rule that was finalized in 2021
“Methane and other accompanying pollutants, such as volatile organic compounds, add to the burden of existing pollution problems in communities of color and low-income communities, exacerbating inequities and putting families at increased risk of serious health issues. For the health of all Hispanic mothers and their babies, EPA needs to eliminate all pollution from routine flaring at oil and gas sites in the final rule.” –Erandi Treviño, who lives in Houston, Texas, where she is surrounded by oil and gas operations
“It is the mandate of EPA to protect people and the environment from significant health risks. Air pollution from oil and gas operations contributes to significant health impacts to our most vulnerable populations, including our children. I will not accept this as an outcome for my family, for my city, for my region, or for our collective climate.” –Roishetta Ozane, who lives in Southwest Louisiana, where her family relocated after multiple hurricanes destroyed their home in 2020
“Although there is still more work to be done to bring our area into ozone attainment and reduce the impacts of climate change, my family is fortunate to live in Colorado, where we are finally taking steps to reduce methane emissions from oil and gas operations. These federal methane rules will help ensure all children across the nation receive these same protections since not all states are proactively implementing much needed changes.” –Laurie Anderson, who lives in Colorado, surrounded by dozens of oil and gas wells
As a frontline community member, I urge EPA to include considerations for public health and transparency for residents in the new Super-Emitter Program. Meaningful air monitoring of health-harming pollution and easy access to that data for local families should be the standard.” –Vanessa Lynch, who lives with oil and gas wells in her community in Pennsylvania