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Posts Tagged ‘Clean Air Act’

I’m cross posting from my friends at Moms Clean Air Force.  Last week we asked you, the readers of all the blogs of the Moms Clean Ai rForce to contact the EPA and let them know we support their fight against polluters; we support the new Mercury and Toxics Standards.  And a whole BUNCH of y’all did it!  You think that was it??? no no no…no resting on our laurels here.   We need to keep up the pressure.  Call your Senator, Call your Representative, Call the EPA.  Join Moms Clean Air Force – we combine our voices and get louder and LOUDER and LOUDER!

EPA Ruling Gets Huge Response. Thank You! Now What!?   Posted on August 9, 2011 by Dominique Browning

In the last few months, Americans submitted more than 800,000 comments in support of a new Environmental Protection Agency ruling, the Mercury and Air Toxics Standards–the first-ever national policy to curb dangerous mercury emissions from coal-fired power plants.

This is an unprecedented outpouring of support for cleaner air.

I want to thank everyone who joined MOMS CLEAN AIR FORCE, you helped send a strong message to Washington.

Clearly, Americans want cleaner air. Parents are especially passionate about fighting air pollution–it hurts fetuses, babies and toddlers the most . Every pregnant–or about to be pregnant,  you know should read about mercury poisoning. Get angry–and get active. How dare polluters poison our babies?

Many responsible coal plant executives have already installed filters on their plants–it hasn’t hurt their profits or cost them jobs.

But many polluters, and their lobbyists and political allies, are fighting these improvements. They are calling for repealing the Clean Air Act and gutting the EPA’s budget so that it cannot enforce any regulations.

Now what? Our work at MOMS CLEAN AIR FORCE is far from done. With the comment period closed, EPA considers the feedback, and responds to issues raised, often in the final version of the rule. The agency is required by the Courts to release the final rule by November 16, 2011. No one has to vote on the rule. Once it is published in the Federal Register, the clock starts ticking–emitters have three years from the date of publication to reduce their pollution.

Polluters will now be working overtime to figure out ways around the new ruling. They will lobby Congress to intervene to delay or alter it. Congress can pass laws that unravel air protection–laws that defund EPA, strike its right to set standards for these–or any other–pollutants, or EPA from spending money to implement rules; they could pass laws to weaken the emission standards, or extend polluters’ deadlines.

Ask everyone you know to JOIN MOMS CLEAN AIR FORCE . Forward this post along via email. Naptime Activism! We make it easy to keep up the pressure on political representatives to support clean air–and we’ll continue to explain why, exactly, it is so important to clean up the air.

We have to protect our children’s health; no one else cares as much as we do. And thank you, again, with all my heart, for joining me in this mission.

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Mom’s Clean Air Force is making it easy to get the word to the EPA that we support them and the Clean Air Act.  REALLY EASY!!   Go here – fill in the form.   click.  Ta Dah!!!!  Could it be easier?  We have two days to let the EPA know that breathing clean air matters to us.  We have two days left to let the EPA know that we don’t want more mercury in our water or in the fish we want to eat.  We have two days to let the EPA know that we want our children to breath clean air and lessen the asthma we see plaguing our children.   TWO DAYS!  It takes less than 5 minutes to fill out this form and click.  Go on.  You know that if we combine our voices, we can be loud enough to drown out the lobbyists that are running around Capitol Hill, strong arming our elected representatives.

For the last few weeks, while we have been sweltering under the heat wave, we’ve also been hearing about Code Red and Code Orange days – that our air isn’t clean enough for those with breathing problems, for babies and old folks, for kids and adults with asthma.   The continuing demands on our electrical grid mean that we need to make sure that the power is being generated  cleanly.  The coal fired plants that haven’t retrofitted with the appropriate technology that scrubs their emissions shouldn’t be allowed to continue to spew out the mercury, the particulates, the arsenic.   Let the EPA know we support the New Mercury and Air Toxics Standards Rule.    Click here. 

Join us at Mom’s Clean Air Force, let your voice combine with ours and get LOUD!!

KESF

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Three days left to speak out; three days left to make our voices heard.  Three days!  Three days to support the EPA.  Three days to support Clean Air for our kids, three days to call our representatives, three days to demand they support our right to breathe clean air.

The coal fired plants that are working overtime this summer because of the heat wave and demands for airconditioning are spewing out more and more pollutants.  We all want to stay cool, after all, this summer has been brutal!  We all want our TV on, our computer on, the fridge needs to make icecubes for that lemonade, we want to be comfortable.  We know how we can save money and electricity – we turn up the thermostat and open the windows on a cool morning; we turn off lights when we leave the room; use compact fluorescent bulbs…. Now we expect the power plant companies to do their part.

They haven’t.  Many of the plants are still fighting any regulation of their emissions.  The coal companies have been spending tons of money on lobbying to stop the new Mercury and Air Toxic Standards – millions and millions of dollars.  Millions and millions of dollars against the power of the voice, the power of the voices of parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles, who are calling their representatives and telling them to support the new regulations.  Who do you think will win?

Our voices, speaking together are louder than even the rustle of the cash.  Our voices, speaking together, remind our elected officials that we are the ones who elect them.  Our voices, speaking together – are able to make a difference.

Won’t you join us?  Write to the EPA, tell them you support the new limits.  The more they hear, the more people they can point to when they go in front of Congress, the more people they can prove the support the limits have.  Here’s the link ,

 Join Mom’s Clean Air Force  Together our voices can make a difference.

Photograph of Coal train from http://www.pbase.com/image/35329852

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In the middle of this whole budget/debt ceiling mess – we have a few more problems .  What Congress is doing to the American Military service member is one thing and they need to be ashamed of themselves (and that’s another post); but they are also trying to decimate the environmental protections we have in place.

As of today Monday, August 1, we have only FOUR MORE DAYS to write to the EPA  to  support  the NEW Mercury and Air Toxics Standards. This regulation is going to cut down the emissions from coal-fired electric plants; all those not so lovely things like mercury, which harms fetuses, infants and toddlers; arsenic which isn’t good for anyone; particulates that are so harmful to those with asthma, especially our kids.

The Coal Companies, the Electric Power Companies, and those who have decided that they don’t really care about the lungs of our kids have been spending millions and millions of dollars on lobbying to protect what they consider their right to pollute.  Our right to breathe seems to be very far down their list!  We don’t have that kind of money, but we have our voices.  Your voice, my voice, her voice, your mom’s voice, your child’s voice, your dad’s voice.

Each of us has a voice; and if we put them all together, we get louder and louder with each voice that joins us.  Here’s a way to do it.  Join the Moms Clean Air Force here.  Here is a link to help you write to the EPA.

If we don’t do it, who will?  Our elected officials?  After what I’ve seen over this past week, I’m really not too hopeful there!  We need to remind our congresscritters that they are supposed to work for us, for our families.  Not for the big coal companies and electric generators.  We also need to remind them that Green Job Creation is a positive force to lower our unemployment numbers and keep our air worth breathing.  So, are you with me?  Join Moms Clean Air Force, we’ll make some noise!

KSF

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President Obama is holding a twitter town hall meeting – an interesting way to get those of us who use social media more involved and asking questions.  Here’s an article about it, the moderator is the co-founder of Twitter, Jack Dorsey.   I’ve got a few questions, many of them are military family related, of course. But then I’ve got some about other matters that concern me, that concern all of us. Like the budget. Like the Clean Air Act. Like what we can do to help the EPA get the message out to everyone – that clean air, clean water are the right of all citizens.

We at #MCAF will be asking him questions about the Clean Air Act, the EPA. Won’t you join us? use the hashtag #MCAF – we’d like to get the word out about this group of moms, dads, grandparents, aunts and uncles who are concerned about the air we breathe.

See you online!

KESF

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Today is World Asthma Day – did you know that? It’s a day to make everyone aware of what asthma is. If you think it is just a little wheezing; if you think that asthma is just an inability to catch your breath when you are climbing a hill, or running to catch the bus – think again.

Asthma can affect people of all ages, although it usually starts when young.  It does run in families.   All sorts of things can aggravate the condition, pollen or allergies (which is why doctors are so busy right now in the spring!) and “bad air” – air that contains particulates or pollution that irritates airways in the lungs, which causes narrowing of the airways and make breathing harder and harder.

Asthma rates are increasing yearly. According to a report on MedicineNet.com

A study reported in the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine (1999; 159:125-29) evaluated a group of patients at two points in time, 30 years apart. The study performed by doctors in Scotland detected a significant increase in symptoms of allergic asthma and levels of antibodies to environmental allergic factors, such as dust mites, pets, and air pollutants over the three decades. Importantly, the researchers noted that there was an increase in the signs and symptoms of allergy, even in people without a family history of allergy!

Did you know that people die from the effects of asthma? According to the American Academy of Allergy Asthma & Immunology (and I copied this, because I find it pretty stunning and didn’t want to make a mistake)

  • Approximately 34.1 million Americans have been diagnosed with asthma by a health professional during their  lifetime.1
  • An estimated 300 million people worldwide suffer from asthma, with 250,000 annual deaths attributed to the disease.2
  • Workplace conditions, such as exposure to fumes, gases or dust, are responsible for 11% of asthma cases worldwide.2
  • About 70% of asthmatics also have allergies.2
  • The prevalence of asthma increased 75% from 1980-1994.3
  • Asthma rates in children under the age of five have increased more than 160% from 1980-1994.3
  • It is estimated that the number of people with asthma will grow by more than 100 million by 2025.2
  • Asthma accounts for approximately 500,000 hospitalizations each year.5
  • 13 million school days are missed each year due to asthma.5
  • Asthma accounts for about 10.1 million missed work days for adults annually.5
  • Asthma was responsible for 3,384 deaths in the United States in 2005.6
  • The annual economic cost of asthma is $19.7 billion. Direct costs make up $14.7 billion of that total, and indirect costs such as lost productivity add another $5 billion.1
  • Prescription drugs represented the largest single direct medical expenditure related to asthma, over $6 billion.1
  • In 2006, asthma prevalence was 20.1% higher in African Americans than in whites.1
  • The prevalence of asthma in adult females was 23% greater than the rate in males, in 2006.1
  • Approximately 40% of children who have asthmatic parents will develop asthma.4
  • In 2005, 8.9% of children in the United States currently had asthma.8
  • Nine million U.S. children under 18 have been diagnosed with asthma at some point in their lifetime.8
  • Nearly 4 million children have had an asthma attack in the previous year.8
  • More than 12 million people in the United States report having an asthma attack in the past year.7
  • Asthma accounts for 217,000 emergency room visits and 10.5 million physician office visits every year.9
  • In 2006, almost 2.5 million people over the age of 65 had asthma, and more than 1 million had an asthma attack or episode.1
  • In a survey of U.S. homes, approximately one-quarter had levels of dust mite allergens present in a bed at a level high enough to trigger asthma symptoms.10
  • In 2007, 29% of children who had a food allergy also had asthma.11
  • Asthma increases the odds of healthcare use in obese people by 33%.12
  • About 23 million people, including almost 7 million children, have asthma.13
  • Approximately 2 million Hispanics in the U.S. have asthma. 14
  • Asthma is the third-ranking cause of hospitalization among children under 15.15
  • An average of one out of every 10 school-aged child has asthma.16
  • Annual expenditures for health and lost productivity due to asthma are estimated at over $20 billion, according to the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute

This isn’t just a medical issue – it’s a budget issue. Another fact – one of the medical reasons to be turned down for military service – asthma!

From all the studies that have been done, one inescapable fact is – with a rise in air pollution, there has been a correlational rise in asthma rates.  The Clean Air Act has done a good job of cleaning up the air in major cities and can do more, if we make sure that it continues to be in effect!  Our air is worth it.  Our kids lungs are worth it.

See, this is why I’m a member of Mom’s Clean Air Force!

KSF

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Earth Day 2011 – 41 years of commemorations big and small; trees will be planted, stream and river cleanups are going on all over the country and many are congratulating themselves on the progress that has been made. There has been progress; there’s no denying that. But that progress took time, and it took advocating and groups and petitions and then, it took laws. The Clean Air Act – the one that we are celebrating the 40th Anniversary of- gave the federal and state governments the ability to limit the emissions from industrial and mobile sources. We as a country realized we couldn’t continue to foul the air; we realized our children were getting sick from the pollutants spewing from factories, and the tailpipes of our cars; that the land was being sickened not only by the pollution we were burying in it, or the spills of toxic waste, or the water we were fouling with our effluent, but also by the very rain that should have been sustaining it, the rain that fell through the clouds of particulates and smog. That rain was no longer the cleanser of the leaves, it was corroding them; it carried the lead, the mercury, the arsenic and the rest of the contaminants into the ground, into the water and added to the pollution level we were surrounding ourselves with.

Planting a tree to help with CO2 and clean air is a great step, not only for the symbolism. But we also need to remember that we cannot do this alone. You and I can’t clean up the results of the Industrial Revolution’s garbage one trash clean up at a time; we need to do this together with those that have the clout, the influence, the science and yes – the money. We need to make sure that those who only see the bottom line, the profit and loss take a look up as well. We need to help those who only see their job security as important, to see their child’s welfare, his lungs and her brain as crucial.

How do we do that? We get phone numbers, we get pollution numbers, we get the facts about what mercury does to the brain of a child; or soot to the lungs of an old woman. What the acid in the rain is really doing to the water it falls into, the ground that it nourishes. We get the phone numbers of our elected officials and call them, email them, write to them, go to meetings with them. And we tell them that we want to breathe clean air, we want to drink clean water, we want to be able to eat what we raise, or what we bring out of a lake.

Today when you plant a tree, or pick up the litter from a roadside or the wrapper blowing across the parking lot – take it another step further. Call and make sure your elected official knows how you feel about the EPA and your local pollution control agency – tell them not to gut their ability to keep the air breathable, the water drinkable. Here’s a link to finding phone numbers for the House   and for the Senate. Thanks.

Happy Earth Day – to all of us.  For more information on what you can do – visit Mom’s Clean Air Force

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