Runaway TRAIN: Congress launches another attack on clean air
September 22, 2011
has launched another effort to dismantle the Clean Air Act, a law which has
improved America’s air quality for 40 years.
so-called “TRAIN Act” threatens to become the most dangerous attack on air
quality protections since President Nixon signed the Clean Air Act into law. The Act would block and delay standards to
clean up particulate matter, smog precursors, mercury, and dioxins and other
toxic pollution from power plants.
is estimated that this inaction would lead to increases in disease and at least
34,000 unnecessary premature deaths every year.
bill create would create a redundant regulatory review process – duplicating
reviews already undertaken by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the
Office of Management and Budget – while
ignoring the important health benefits of proposed rules.
value of those health benefits often far exceeds the costs of cleaning the air.
bill would also delay two rules vital to health:
proposed Mercury and Air Toxics rule is designed to protect the public from extremely
dangerous pollutants emitted by coal-fired power plants. Air toxics are acutely and chronically toxic
to people even in small amounts. Mercury
permanently damages the developing brain of fetuses, infants and small
Thousands of PSR members submitted
comments to the EPA supporting this rule earlier this year.
Cross-State air pollution rule is an already-finalized rule that would make it
easier for states downwind of pollution sources to achieve healthful air for
their residents. It would significantly
reduce nitrogen oxides and sulfur dioxide, whose contributions to ground-level
ozone and particulate matter result in asthma attacks, irreversible lung
damage, and strokes.
amendment to the TRAIN Act introduced by Rep. Ed Whitfield (R-KY) would block
these rules permanently by eliminating any deadline by which they had to clean
up deadly pollution.
amendment, introduced by Rep. Bob Latta (R-OH), would eliminate the 40-year-old
requirement that the Environmental Protection Agency base its clean air
standards on science and medicine alone.
addition of these amendments would add tens of thousands more premature deaths
each year and destroy the fundamental foundation of the Clean Air Act, which
was constructed by a bipartisan Congress and signed by President Nixon.
has urged its members to oppose the TRAIN Act and the Latta and Whitfield amendments.
rigorous, peer-reviewed analysis, The Benefits and Costs of the Clean Air
Act from 1990 to 2020, conducted by the EPA, found that air quality
improvements under the Clean Air Act will save $2 trillion and prevent at least
230,000 deaths annually by 2020.
survey data demonstrates that the public supports EPA’s efforts to implement
and update the Clean Air Act. A survey conducted by two polling firms, one Republican
and the other Democratic, shows that over 70 percent of voters do not want
Congress to stop the EPA from setting stricter pollution limits.
percent of voters would prefer that EPA set pollution standards, not Congress.