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Urgent! Speak out for healthy air!
February 28, 2011
Last week the House of Representatives passed a
“Continuing Resolution” (budget bill) with amendments denying the EPA the
power to regulate pollutants. The bill limited or revoked the EPA’s
authority to regulate greenhouse gases, mercury and other air toxics, water
pollutants, coal ash, and mountaintop removal wastes.
Senate will consider this bill, possibly on March 3.
House voted to:
- Block the EPA from enforcing the
rule that regulates mercury and other air toxics emissions from cement
plants. Mercury can damage the developing brain, reduce IQ, and cause
mental retardation, behavioral problems, and developmental abnormalities. Cement plants are a major source of mercury
emissions in the U.S.
- Eliminate funding for EPA control of
greenhouse gas emissions from stationary sources. This would exempt
coal-fired power plants, steel mills, refineries and other major greenhouse gas
- Prohibit the use of funds by EPA to
regulate coal ash as a hazardous waste, thus prematurely ending EPA
consideration of regulating the safe disposal of this toxic substance.
amendments passed by the House would stop the EPA from administering or
enforcing Clean Water Act provisions for mountaintop removal, and would halt certain
state and regional water standards and programs.
the Continuing Resolution is a budget bill, many of the amendments passed by
the House do not reduce expenditures.
Rather, they simply halt EPA enforcement
of programs to stop big polluters from contaminating air and water.
In the long run, these actions are projected to
increase health care costs as our society faces the rising illnesses that will
all the amendments were budget-neutral; total funding for the EPA was slashed
by $3 billion.