Regulation of hazardous air pollutants under Section 112 of the Clean Air Act protects individuals, families and communities, especially those of color, from unnecessary premature deaths, asthma attacks, cancer, neurological deficits and heart attacks. With 68% of African Americans living within 30 miles of a coal plant and low income communities more likely to be host to a coal plant, these vulnerable Americans bear a greater brunt of hazardous coal plant emissions. In 2016 EPA concluded regulation of these hazardous emissions is “appropriate and necessary.” EPA now proposes to reverse course.
Great Rivers volunteer Lauren Lageson submitted comments on April 17, 2019 on behalf of the Missouri NAACP urging the EPA to stand by its previous determinations to regulate harmful air pollution.
The Missouri NAACP views the proposed changes as a threat to the rights and the wellbeing of people of color and low income communities, who stand to be disproportionately affected by the changes. EPA’s devaluation of co-benefits in its analysis threatens the quality of life and the health of our most vulnerable citizens, including children, the elderly and the economically-disadvantaged. Excluding the health and well-being of these communities from consideration in a cost analysis, while giving undo weight to industry cost, is unconscionable.
You can read the full comments here.