Contact: Sasha Tenenbaum, email@example.com, (917) 887-0146
Washington, DC – On June 15, 16, and 17, the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) kicks off a series of listening sessions as part of their 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 the health and future of children across the nation. More than 20 parents representing Moms Clean Air Force from across the country will be participating in these listening sessions to advocate for at least a 65% reduction of methane pollution from oil and gas operations compared to 2012 levels by 2025. This is a unique opportunity for public input from environmental justice and frontline communities to weigh in to make their voices heard ahead of the September proposed rule-makings.
In advance of their comments to the EPA, Moms Clean Air Force organizers and staff issued the following statements:
“Latino communities like mine face an increased risk of environmental health issues compounded by polluting oil and gas operations and inadequate access to quality health care,” said Erandi Trevino, Texas field organizer for Moms Clean Air Force and Houston resident. “The oil and gas industry must be held to strong standards that are protective of public health. I am glad the EPA is working toward more comprehensive rules for methane pollution and inviting input from historically marginalized communities during the rulemaking process.”
“Ohio is currently home to more than 103,000 oil and gas production facilities, including wells, compressors, and processing stations, earning us a top ranking for total residents living within a half mile of these facilities,” said Tracy Sabetta, Ohio field organizer for Moms Clean Air Force. “Ohio moms are grateful that the EPA is working to improve methane emissions standards to be more protective of public health and address methane’s contribution to the climate crisis.”
“In New Mexico, the areas with the most oil and gas operations are home to Latino and Indigenous communities, who are being disproportionately burdened by the harmful air pollution that is leaking, venting, and flaring at alarming rates and can cause respiratory and heart disease,” said Celerah Hewes, Albuquerque resident, mom, and New Mexico field organizer for Moms Clean Air Force. “The EPA’s inclusion of environmental justice and frontline communities in this week’s listening sessions is a welcome move for the nearly 140,000 New Mexicans—including more than 32,000 children—who are living within a half mile of oil and gas operations.”
“As a mom to five children living half a mile from 18 active oil and gas wells, I am glad that the EPA is inviting community voices to be heard during the rulemaking process. While Colorado’s state leaders continue to strengthen oil and gas pollution regulations, families in our state are still being impacted by oil and gas air pollution from surrounding states that don’t have comprehensive state methane rules, complicating efforts to further reduce emissions. This makes federal pollution controls incredibly important,” said Laurie Anderson, Colorado field organizer for Moms Clean Air Force and Broomfield resident.
“In the US, over 17 million people live within a mile of active oil and gas wells, putting their health at risk,” said Patrice Tomcik, National Field Manager and Oil and Gas Specialist for Moms Clean Air Force, whose children attend school half a mile from fracked gas wells in southwestern Pennsylvania. “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.”