Carper Joins DNREC, American Lung Association to Defend Federal Clean Air Protections

WILMINGTON, Del. Today, U.S. Senator Tom Carper (D-Del.), top Democrat on the Environment and Public Works Committee, joined Delaware Natural Resources and Environmental Control (DNREC) Secretary Shawn M. Garvin and American Lung Association President of the Mid-Atlantic Deb Brown and Dr. Albert Rizzo, Senior Medical Advisor for the American Lung Association, at DNREC’s Air Monitoring Station situated off the I-95 corridor to call for continued protections of federal clean air regulations.

May is Asthma Awareness Month and Clean Air Month, and Delaware’s more than 17,000 children living with asthma are among those at increased risk of health harms due to air pollution. According to the recently released “State of the Air” 2017 report from the American Lung Association, while Delaware still suffers from unhealthy levels of air pollution, the state has made enormous progress in reducing it. However, a key driver of this progress – the federal Clean Air Act – is under scrutiny. At the same time, climate change threatens to undo some of the gains that have been made in Delaware.

“Slashing clean air protections and critical resources to the states for programs that help states and local communities become more resilient to climate change is not just irresponsible – it’s irrational. We already know from the great work Delaware is doing that we can have both a cleaner environment and having a robust, growing economy,” said Senator Carper. “But Delaware cannot clean up its air alone. We are at the mercy of our upwind neighbors, so we need every state to do their part too. I will continue to fight for cleaner air, a better climate and for state and local community resources to ensure we can have both.” 

“Clean air is vital to our health and quality of life,” said DNREC Secretary Shawn M. Garvin. “Delaware citizens deserve clean air, and we have invested in improving air quality in our state by reducing emissions from local sources. One of our challenges is the polluted air coming into Delaware from sources upwind of our borders. Confronting this requires federal action, strengthening of the Clean Air Act and increasing national resources for our state.”

“As a nation, we have made progress, but we still have a long way to go – especially in light of our changing climate. The bad news is that healthy air protections are under attack by special interests in Washington, D.C., and must be defended to save lives here and across the country,” said Deb Brown, President and CEO, American Lung Association of the Mid-Atlantic. “We are so thankful for the leadership of Senator Carper, who fights to defend clean air protections every day; for Secretary of the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control Shawn Garvin, who continues to lead the charge to improve air quality here in Delaware; and for Dr. Rizzo, who helps so many fighting the battle with lung disease, and for his passion to help us in our mission – a world free of lung disease.”

“As the Chief of the Pulmonary Section at Christiana Care Health System, I’ve seen firsthand how air pollution impacts the health of men, women and children in Delaware,” said Dr. Albert Rizzo, Senior Medical Advisor for the American Lung Association. “Too many people are still at increased risk of health impacts from air pollution. Some in Congress and the Trump Administration are working to weaken the enforcement of the Clean Air Act. I urge everyone to join the American Lung Association in telling Congress to stand up for our lung health and protect all Americans from the very real health impacts that come from breathing dirty air.”