Senators Request EPA Stop Env Rollbacks During Health Emergency
This week, Senator Cory Booker and seven other U.S. Senators sent a letter to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency asking them to pause some of their rulemaking during the coronavirus pandemic. The Senators wrote, “Out of an abundance of caution, we urge the EPA to halt the finalization or implementation of any rules and guidance documents that could impede air quality or are likely to result in the release of additional toxic chemicals into the air and environment while the coronavirus public health crisis continues.”
“During these critical times, it is important that these Democratic Senators are standing up to the Trump Administration when it comes to the environment. They have been trying to use the coronavirus outbreak as an excuse to roll back important environmental regulations. This is especially important in New Jersey because we have some of the worst air quality in the nation. Because of the impacts of air pollution, our state has higher levels of asthma and heart disease, which makes people more susceptible to the impacts of coronavirus. It is shameful that the Trump Administration is trying to hide behind the public health emergency,” said Jeff Tittel, Director of the New Jersey Sierra Club. “We thank Senator Book for standing up to the EPA and protecting the air quality of New Jersey during the outbreak of this respiratory disease.”
North Jersey remains ranked the 10th worst metropolitan area in the U.S. for ozone levels, the same as last year. The main ingredient in smog that can trigger asthma attacks in the estimated 650,000 state residents who suffer from the disease. In New Jersey, air pollution has led to asthma in children and adults, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and lung cancer.
“During this public health emergency, it is also important for New Jersey to take steps toward reducing air pollution. Air pollution causes asthma attacks and puts children and people with heart problems and lung problems at risk. However if at risk people are infected with coronavirus, the impacts of air pollution can be deadly,” said Jeff Tittel, Director of the New Jersey Sierra Club. “In order to reduce air pollution in New Jersey, Governor Murphy can put a moratorium on new fossil fuel projects, DEP can move forward in regulating greenhouse gases and methane, and the state can move forward with EV technology. Then we might be able to start breathing easier.”