28 Mar Nevadans Weigh in For Clean Air, Deliver More Than 6,000 Comments to EPA In Support of Strong Soot Protections
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, March 28, 2023
Will Pregman, firstname.lastname@example.org
Nevadans Weigh in For Clean Air, Deliver More Than 6,000 Comments to EPA In Support of Strong Soot Protections
Las Vegas, Nevada – Thousands of Nevadans joined the growing chorus of Americans asserting their right to breathe clean air this week, submitting more than 6,000 comments to the Environmental Protection Agency in support of the strongest possible soot standards.
The more than half a million comments made nationally make clear that the public wants President Joe Biden to listen to the experts and finish the job on climate.
“The Biden administration has a real opportunity to make a huge difference in our air quality, our families’ health and to advance environmental justice in Nevada and across the country,” said Climate Action Campaign Director Margie Alt. “I hope President Biden and EPA Administrator Regan will listen to the thousands of Nevadans, including doctors and nurses and elected leaders, as well as their own Science Advisory Committee, and set the strongest possible soot pollution standards. Not only will this help to prevent the deadly impacts of toxic soot pollution, especially in overburdened communities, it will also have some benefits for our climate as well.”
The comments – most of which came from everyday Nevadans – were underscored by strong statements from nonprofit and elected leaders. Many noted that exposure to soot, a type of particulate matter that is generated by power plants and other industrial sources, is associated with serious health issues, and contributes to thousands of premature deaths each year.
“Exposure to soot is linked to chronic conditions, including asthma, heart disease, COPD, Parkinson’s disease, dementia, low birth weight, greater risk of preterm birth, and higher rates of infant mortality and death. This pollution affects more than 20 million Americans every year, according to the American Lung Association, and it disproportionately impacts historically underserved communities like those I represent,” explained Nevada Assemblyman Howard Watts, who is a member of the Elected Officials to Protect America Leadership Council. “It’s time we bring environmental justice to these communities. I urge the EPA to enact regulations that protect our most vulnerable by strengthening this proposal to align the recommendations of scientific experts.”
It’s been more than a decade since the EPA’s soot standards were last updated and advocates say they are now dangerously outdated.
“Nevadans are counting on President Biden and his EPA to finalize the strongest possible science-based soot pollution standards, to ensure cleaner and safer air for our families, advance environmental justice, and protect our health,” said Annette Magnus, Executive Director of Institute for a Progressive Nevada. “Thousands of lives are at stake and we need to curtail this dangerous pollution now.”
Soot pollution is an issue that affects nearly every Nevadan. According to the American Lung Association, 92 percent of Nevada residents live in a county that gets a failing grade for air quality. So it’s not just a Las Vegas problem.
“Nevandans across the state are in favor of strong soot standards – they will make Nevada safer. Currently, 230,000 adults and 500,000 children in Nevada suffer from asthma and need protection from soot pollution,” said Gabrielle Henry, Nevada Field Director for Climate Action LCV. “We need President Biden and the EPA to listen to Nevandans and make the strongest soot standard a reality.”
Ultimately, reducing soot pollution is a social and environmental justice issue, advocates explain.
“Frontline communities suffering from systemic redlining are the most at risk, living nearest to businesses that spew soot into the atmosphere. These microscopic particles can cause a variety of cancers and breathing ailments like asthma. Elected Officials to Protect America encourages the EPA to bring justice to these communities, and all Americans,” said Alex Cornell du Houx, President of Elected Officials to Protect America.
As part of the Climate Action Campaign’s (CAC) Solutions for Pollution coalition, the campaign delivered nearly 600,000 comments to the EPA from Americans nationwide.