Clean air! It’s everyone’s right, to have air that is clean and that won’t hurt us to take a deep breath, right? That is the reason we have the EPA and The Clean Air Act. So why should I care about this – it’s the law already, we fought that battle back in the 70s, and in the 80s and even in the 90s. Why are you bothering me with this? We’ve become accustomed to having air we can breathe, safely.
Many years ago, when this Milspouse muttered in Minnesota, I worked for a group of lawyers who worked for the Pollution Control Agency. The Land of Ten Thousand Lakes published an advisory, stating that pregnant women, young children and even women who were thinking of becoming pregnant shouldn’t eat a lot of fish out of any of those lovely lakes. Placards at the lakes told us that all those people who fish should toss them back, not just because of conservation of the fish stock – but because the mercury levels were so high! Mercury? The mercury we used to see in thermometers? Now, you ask, what does this have to do with the Clean Air Act – I should be talking about the Clean WATER Act. No, not this time; this mercury isn’t naturally occurring. Airborne particles from coal fired power plants are precipitating those mercury levels into the “danger for pregnant women” zone.
The EPA is proposing a ruling and update to the Clean Air Act targeting those toxic air pollutants that are the most harmful – like mercury, arsenic, dioxin, lead, acid gases and other heavy metals. These are usually spewed out by coal fired power plants that don’t have any limits on what they emit. Now this rule has been under consideration and development for 20 years. In that time some power plants have been fitted with the necessary filters, and are online, working efficiently but in a cleaner fashion than those unfiltered.
Opponents to these regulations are trying very hard to prevent the EPA from enforcing these new rules under consideration. BUT on the other hand, those who care about our health are on board with making these new rules the law, like The American Medical Association, the American Lung Association; the American Heart Association; the American Academy of Pediatricians; the American Nurses Association.
I’m part of a new movement – Moms Clean Air Force* – as a mom and grandma, I believe in clean air for our families. I’m combining two passions here, military families and their welfare, and environmental causes. The young children of this country, who are the population most likely to have asthma from “bad air”, who get the constant respiratory illnesses from bad air, and whose little bodies are most likely to be polluted by the dioxins, the mercury and lead that can harm their brain development; those children deserve clean air, deserve to be able to breathe safely. My granddaughter deserves to be able to run around in the clean air, not wheeze and sneeze from pollutants.
Our military children, when they live in this country, deserve to be able to breathe safely. After all, some of us have lived in countries where the air isn’t that clean, where we can’t be sure what they are breathing in. We’ve seen our spouses come back from “downrange” and other places, talking about being able to breathe so much better when they are back. Some of us are seeing the effects of bad air that our service-member breathed in affecting their breathing now. Let’s keep that clean air here in the USA, let’s make sure that the air we all breathe is as clean as we can possibly make it.
The EPA News Release is here
That link will lead you to other EPA links about this new rule. You can get the 900 page proposed rule as well as very helpful interpretation documents if you don’t want to devote your week to reading the whole thing!
Here is the place to add your comments – email address: email@example.com
To make life easier on the person sorting these, and to make sure that your comment gets to the right place, emails should reference these Docket ID numbers.
Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OAR-2011-0044 (NSPS action)
Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OAR-2009-0234 (NESHAP action)
*Disclosure: I am receiving a small honorarium for my time writing, speaking and participating in events as part of the Moms Clean Air Force. But you know I wouldn’t do this, if I didn’t believe in it. I believe, as I always have, in being a good caretaker of the planet while I’m here, and leaving it a better, cleaner place for my child and grandchild.
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