Elisabeth MacNamara, president of the national League of Women Voters:
"We are deeply concerned about attacks on EPA and health protections. Any action to block the EPA from updating Clean Air Act protections, or any delay on behalf of the Administration to avoid implementing new clean air and industrial pollution requirements, is an attack on the health of our children and families, plain and simple," she said.
The Clean Air Promise Campaign will call on citizens, elected officials and community leaders around the country to join in making this simple promise to protect the health of our children and families:
"I promise to protect America's children and families from dangerous air pollution.
"Because toxins and pollutants such as mercury, smog, carbon, and soot, cause thousands of hospital visits, asthma attacks, and even deaths.
I will support clean air policies and other protections that scientists and public health experts have recommended to the EPA to safeguard our air quality."
Also in the news:
The U.S. EPA proposed standards to reduce harmful air pollution from oil and gas drilling operations yesterday.
These proposed updated standards would rely on cost-effective existing technologies to reduce emissions. The standards would leverage operators' ability to capture and sell natural gas that currently escapes into the air. The goals is to create efficient operations while reducing harmful emissions that can impact air quality in surrounding areas and nearby states.
"This administration has been clear that natural gas is a key component of our clean energy future, and the steps announced today will help ensure responsible production of this domestic energy source . . .. Reducing these emissions will help cut toxic pollution that can increase cancer risks and smog that can cause asthma attacks and premature death - all while giving these operators additional product to bring to market.”Gina McCarthy, assistant administrator for EPA's Office of Air and Radiation.
The proposal would cut volatile organic compound (VOC) emissions from several types of processes and equipment used in the oil and gas industry. This includes a 95% reduction in VOC emissions from new and modified hydraulically fractured wells. This would be accomplished by capturing natural gas that currently escapes to the air and making that gas available for sale through technologies and processes already in use by several companies and required in some states.
Natural gas production in the U.S. is growing. There are more than 25,000 new and existing wells fractured or re-fractured each year. The VOC reductions in the proposal are expected to help reduce ozone nonattainment problems in many areas where oil and gas production occurs.
In addition, the VOC reductions would also reduce methane emissions from new and modified wells. Methane is a potent greenhouse and is more than 20 times more potent than carbon dioxide.
Theproposed changes also would reduce emissions of several air toxics, including benzene, thus reducing cancer causing agents in the air.
The proposal is to be cost effective. It includes reviews of four air regulations for the oil and natural gas industry as required by the Clean Air Act. EPA is under a consent decree requiring the agency to sign a proposal by July 28, 2011 and take final action by Feb. 28, 2012.
EPA will hold three public hearings, in the Dallas, Denver and Pittsburgh areas. Details on the hearings will be announced soon.
More information: http://epa.gov/airquality/oilandgas/