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E-M:/ Michigan urged to join suit against Bush Admin Air Pollution weakening



 

For Immediate Release                                                         Contact:

October 28, 2003                                                                    Anne Woiwode, 517-484-2372

 

 

SIERRA CLUB ASKS STATES TO FIGHT BUSH ADMINISTRATION’S NEW LOOPHOLES FOR POLLUTERS

States Work To Protect Communities from Asthma-Causing Air Pollution

 

 

Washington, DC:  Environmental and public health groups joined with several states to stop the Bush administration from weakening the Clean Air Act.  The Bush Administration has dismantled the "New Source Review" program, undermining one of the most effective ways that states have to clean up America's oldest and dirtiest power plants and leaving millions of children at risk from asthma.

 

Sierra Club, along with American Lung Association, Communities for a Better Environment, Earthjustice, Environmental Defense, Natural Resources Defense Council, U.S. Public Interest Research Group, filed a lawsuit challenging the legality of the Bush Administration’s changes to the New Source Review provision.  New York, New Mexico, Illinois and other states filed similar suits. 

 

“Thirty years of environmental progress have taught us that the Clean Air Act works, yet the Bush Administration continues to diminish this tried and true solution,” said Anne Woiwode, Director of the Sierra Club Mackinac Chapter. “By sabotaging an effective program like NSR, the Bush Administration is putting corporate polluters ahead of states, families and children.”

 

“We urge Michigan to stand up to the Bush Administration to protect the health and safely of our communities,” added Woiwode. 

 

The NSR change most directly affects states, which have frontline responsibility to protect communities from air pollution.  States rely on the NSR program to require the most offensive old power plants and factories to install modern pollution control technologies whenever they proposed expansions that would increase the amount of pollution emitted.  The Bush Administration rule creates a loophole exempting power plants from cleaning up when they make changes that increase pollution.    

 

A new Yale University study, recently published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, found that severely asthmatic children suffered from shortness of breath, coughing and chest tightness even on days considered "healthy" under the most updated EPA smog standards.  While air pollution harms anyone who breathes, children are at far greater risk.  They spend more time outdoors than adults and inhale more pollutants per pound of body weight.  Moreover, their bodies, lungs and immune systems are still developing and exposure to pollution at an early age puts their health at risk for years to come.  Even our most stringent clean air laws leave some kids at risk.

 

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Anne Woiwode, Director

Sierra Club Mackinac Chapter

109 East Grand River Avenue,  Lansing, MI  48906

ph: 517-484-2372 fx: 517-484-3108 e: anne.woiwode@sierraclub.org

website:  http://michigan.sierraclub.org