Another day, another deadline—moms know what that’s like. But this time it means more great news for American families. After 15 years of such profound government torpor that to call it “foot-dragging” would be a compliment, the EPA has finally proposed new standards for soot pollution—the fine particles that are emitted from vehicles, power plants, and fires. The comment deadline is August 31, 2012, with two public hearings scheduled: Philadelphia, July 17 and Sacramento, July 19.
Soot causes health problems because we breathe in the particle pollution, which is too small to be expelled easily by breathing; it lodges deeply in our lungs and stays there. Soot is a potent asthma attack trigger—and causes heart attacks and strokes, among other things. Moms Clean Air Force writer Molly Rauch has created a helpfully detailed post for us : 5 Reasons Moms Need A Strong Soot Standard . And we want them to be even stronger!
Once again, the Environmental Protection Agency has opened a “comment period” to make your voice heard. We all have a chance to tell Administrator Jackson that we not only appreciate the new soot standards, but we want them strengthened, and enacted, ASAP. The U.S. District Court for D. C. has actually ordered EPA and Congress to speed up the rulemaking process—because of the huge health implications of the new standards, and because we’ve already had fifteen years of delay. And we wonder why the incidence of asthma in this country is skyrocketing—a walloping 9% of children in this country suffer from this cruel disease.
Recently, a coal industry lobbyist was quoted complaining that those of us who want strong protections against pollution, including the American Lung Association, are “playing on the heartstrings.” I say, You betcha! Imagine how cold-blooded you have to get to complain that our concerns are focused on what pollution does to our children’s health. The alternative? Take money to protect polluters’ right to pollute.
I’ll play heartstrings over purse strings any day.