Our Fair State has joined a dozen others yesterday in suing the EPA to lower soot levels from smokestacks in order to improve our respiratory health and save lives.
The states argue that the Bush administration is ignoring science and its own experts in refusing to slightly reduce the allowed threshold for soot. The "fine particulate matter" in soot contributes to premature death, chronic respiratory disease and asthma attacks, said New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer. The pollution also leads to more hospital admissions and other public health costs, he said.
"The overwhelming scientific consensus is that fine particles cause respiratory disease and premature death. I am hopeful that this lawsuit will succeed in compelling EPA to establish standards that will protect the public from the serious threat posed by particulate pollution," New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection Commissioner Lisa P. Jackson said.
Yesterday, the Bush administration changed the rules on releasing detailed info on the toxic chemicals that companies emit into the air, water and on land.
The Bush administration yesterday exempted thousands of companies from providing detailed information about the toxic chemicals they release into the air and water and onto the land, easing the reporting requirements under the nation's premier environmental right-to-know law.
Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-N.J.) said the EPA's decision "puts the interests of corporate polluters ahead of the health and safety of the American people." Rep. Frank Pallone (D-6th Dist.) called the change a "step backwards" because it "limits information that community residents can receive about chemicals near their homes."
The rule change was opposed by public health and environmental organizations and government agencies in 23 states. It had the backing of the chemical, electronics, petroleum and plastic industries as well as fabricated metal facilities, foam manufacturers, food processors and utilities.
Y'know, I spent yesterday home sick with asthmatic bronchitis, so as I sit here typing this I'm coughing. Coincidence?
(cross-posted at Blanton's and Ashton's)