Skip to Navigation
Skip to Content
Share this page

Support PSR!

Your membership supports PSR's work to reduce global warming, eliminate toxics in our environment and abolish nuclear weapons. YOU make our work possible. Thank you.

Donate Now »

Take Action

Tell the EPA to ban the use of methylene chloride and NMP in commercial and consumer paint strippers. Let’s protect workers and consumers from these harmful chemicals and switch to safer alternatives.

Letter to Senate on Collins Boiler Amendment

March 6, 2012

RE: Oppose Senator Collins’ Amendment 1660 to S.1813

Dear Senator,

On behalf of our millions of members and supporters, we urge you to oppose Senator Collins’ amendment (S.A. 1660 to S.1813) to the transportation funding package currently being negotiated. This legislation would roll back existing clean air safeguards to reduce toxic pollution from industrial boilers and incinerators and indefinitely delay any new standards by a minimum of 3.5 years. This minimum delay alone will result in: 28,350 more premature deaths, over 17,000 heart attacks and more than 180,000 cases of asthma attacks.

Industrial boilers and incinerators pump thousands of tons of pollutants like mercury, lead, chromium, and particulates into the air we breathe every year. Industrial boilers are the U.S.'s third largest source of mercury pollution, and the second largest source of toxic industrial pollution overall. This toxic pollution is known to cause developmental problems in children, asthma attacks, heart attacks, and stroke.

This rider does not simply delay standards to regulate these pollutants, as some have falsely reported. Instead, the proposed legislation fundamentally weakens the Clean Air Act – a bedrock public health law – and delays compliance deadlines for industry by a minimum of 3.5 years. The amendment then allows indefinite compliance delays by prohibiting the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) from requiring compliance with new standards any "earlier than 5 years" after issuance, and then eliminating the Clean Air Act's firm compliance deadlines and allowing compliance to be delayed by 8,10, 15 years or even longer.

This rider would re-write toxics standards for industrial boilers, stripping away longstanding Clean Air Act provisions that require deep reductions in toxic air pollution and firm compliance deadlines. Instead, the rider would require EPA to mandate the weakest, “least burdensome” standards. To be clear, the amendment mandates measures that will accomplish virtually no reductions in toxic air pollution such as mercury, which harms our children’s developing brains.

We urge you to reject the calls from corporate polluters to weaken the Clean Air Act and delay much-needed protections from mercury, lead, dioxins and acid gases. Opposing this, and any other, anti-Clean Air Act rider, will show true leadership. Not only would these riders result in tens of thousands of premature deaths and avoidable illnesses, they are unrelated to the underlying package and have no place in the negotiations.

The Collins amendment is bad legislation reflecting an irresponsible assault on substantive Clean Air Act authorities. Again, we hope you will stand with public health and vote NO on S.A. 1660 to S.1813.

Last Updated August 9, 2013

Browse Resources

Action Alerts

More action alerts»

Resources

  • Too Dirty, Too Dangerous

    PSR's report, Too Dirty, Too Dangerous: Why Health Professionals Reject Methane, based on summaries of recent medical and scientific studies, clearly conveys the health threats that accompany use of methane as a fuel. Read more »

  • Climate Change and Famine

    Climate change is already threatening the Earth’s ability to produce food. These effects are expected to worsen as climate change worsens. Read more »

  • Congressional Review Act Handout

    Congress is poised to use the CRA to dismantle Clean Air and Clean Water protections. CRA allows Congress by majority vote in both chambers (with limited debate and no opportunity for a filibuster) to void recently issued rules-resulting in communities losing dozens of health, safety and environmental protections. Read more »

In the Spotlight

  • November 30, 2016
    Eating for Climate and Health
    PSR's new PowerPoint presentation on how climate change impacts food production, and agriculture's contribution to climate change.