Contact: Mollie Michel, firstname.lastname@example.org, 718-536-6336
Washington, DC – Today, the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced a public engagement process as they begin to draft a new rule to curb oil and gas methane pollution from new and existing operations to protect our children and families across the nation. In June, EPA is hosting three listening sessions to hear from environmental justice communities, Tribes, nongovernmental organizations, businesses, and industry.
In response to this announcement, Patrice Tomcik, National Field Manager and Oil and Gas Specialist for Moms Clean Air Force, whose children attend school near fracked gas wells in southwestern Pennsylvania, issued the following statement:
“Each year the oil and gas industry releases millions of tons of methane—a potent greenhouse gas—and other harmful pollutants such as volatile organic compounds (VOCs) into the air our families breathe, posing a serious threat to public health and worsening the climate crisis. Moms across the country are heartened to see that EPA is working to enact strong safeguards to address this pollution problem.
“One in three people in the US lives in a county with oil and gas production, and over 17 million live within a mile of active oil and gas wells, putting their health at risk. But the risk is not evenly distributed. Black, Indigenous, and Latino communities are disproportionately exposed to dirty air, including harmful pollution from oil and gas operations, because of where they live, learn, work, and play. Prioritizing environmental justice and frontline communities is imperative as they have historically shouldered an outsize burden from the impacts of air pollution and the climate crisis.
“Children all across the country—including my own—are depending on EPA and the Biden administration to move swiftly with a protective rule that could cut methane pollution 65% by 2025. We look forward to working with EPA to ensure they enact the strongest protections possible to protect the health and future of our children.”