Sen. Carper Comments On EPA Air Quality Standard
Subcommittee Chairman Continues to Push for Comprehensive Air Quality Legislation
“It is time for legislation to provide an aggressive – yet achievable – schedule for reducing emissions and alleviating some of our worst health and environmental problems, such as asthma, lung cancer, acid rain and mercury contamination.
“That is why next week, a bipartisan group of senators and I will introduce a multipollutant bill – called the Clean Air Act Amendments of 2010 – to move our nation’s clean air laws into the 21st century."
Nitrogen dioxide is formed from vehicle, power plant and other industrial emissions, and contributes to the formation of fine particle pollution and smog. Exposure to smog and fine particles can cause respiratory illness, long-term lung tissue damage, and death.
The EPA’s new ruling updates a 1971 nitrogen dioxide national ambient air quality standard. The EPA is adding a new one-hour standard at a level of 100 parts per billion (ppb) to the existing annual average standard of 53 ppb.
Over the past decade, Sen. Carper has fought to reduce nitrogen oxide emissions, along with other dangerous emissions like mercury, sulfur dioxide (SO2) and carbon dioxide (CO2), through various legislative efforts. Currently, he is working on a three-pollutant bill with Sens. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.), Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) and Susan Collins (R-Maine) that addresses SO2, NOx and mercury emissions from fossil-fuel power plants.