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“Our organizations are deeply concerned”: PSR and 19 Additional Health Organizations Submit Comments on EPA’s Proposed Rule Changes for New Source Performance Standards

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Press Contact:
Olivia Alperstein, Media Relations Manager
Physicians for Social Responsibility
(202) 587-5232, oalperstein@psr.org

Washington, DC—On December 17, twenty health and public health organizations submitted comments to Acting Administrator Andrew Wheeler protesting the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)’s proposed weakening of for the New Source Performance Standards (NSPS), which regulate leakage of methane and toxic gases from oil and gas wells.  The potential impact of weakened standards on the health and safety of American communities is particularly alarming in light of scientific studies indicating that the world has only 12 years in which to get climate-damaging greenhouse gas emissions down to zero.

The submitted comments were authored by Physicians for Social Responsibility and co-signed by 19 other health organizations, including the American Lung Association (ALA), American Public Health Association (APHA), Alliance of Nurses for Healthy Environments, National Student Nurses’ Association, National Association of Nurse Practitioners in Women’s Health, National Association of County and City Health Officials (NAACHO), Healthcare Without Harm (HWH), Trust for America’s Health, Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, Citizens Climate Lobby/Health Team, American Medical Student Association (AMSA), Nurse Alliance of SEIU Healthcare, Association of Public Health Nurses (APHN), Ohio Public Health Association, Children’s Environmental Health Network, National Association of Hispanic Nurses, Breathe Utah, Southwest PA Environmental Health Project, and Health Action New Mexico. These co-signers represent a broad spectrum of national, regional and state organizations, including some of the preeminently national health experts.

“Our organizations are deeply concerned that the proposed rule changes will inflict significant harm on public health,” read the statement. “Fugitive emissions, or leaks, of methane, frequently accompanied by volatile organic compounds (VOCs), occur throughout the process of natural gas and oil extraction, processing and transport. Methane leaks accelerate climate change and thus increase health threats worldwide. Leaks of VOCs endanger the health of people living near oil and gas infrastructure. The changes that the EPA is proposing to the NSPS would reduce the frequency of monitoring and lengthen the time operators have to repair leaks, thus exacerbating the amount of methane and VOCs allowed to escape into the atmosphere. This would have the effect of increasing the health threats facing millions of Americans, as well as people around the world.”

Read the full statement and view a list of co-signers.

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About Physicians for Social Responsibility (PSR)

PSR is a nonprofit organization representing medical and health professionals and concerned citizens, with approximately 40,000 members and supporters and with chapters in major cities and medical schools throughout the United States. PSR has been working for more than 55 years to create a healthy, just and peaceful world for both present and future generations. Learn more at www.psr.org and follow us on Facebook and Twitter.