Sen. Carper Highlights Recent Report that Shows Clean Air Saves Lives

WASHINGTON – Today, Sen. Tom Carper (D-Del.), chairman of the Senate Subcommittee on Clean Air, highlighted the results of a recent report by the Environment Protection Agency (EPA), which underscores the Clean Air Act’s successful public health protections. The report estimates that the benefits of reducing fine particle and ground level ozone pollution under the 1990 Clean Air Act amendments will reach approximately $2 trillion in 2020 while saving 230,000 people from early death in that year alone. The report studied the effects of the Clean Air Act updates on the economy, public health and the environment between 1990 and 2020.

“This report from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) reaffirms what I have said for years, cleaning our air saves thousands of lives and trillions of dollars in health care costs,” said Sen. Carper. “For a relatively nominal investment we realize a huge return in terms of public health benefits and job creation. The findings prove that our country has seen forty years of success and benefits from the Clean Air Act.

“In 2010, the reductions in harmful air pollutants like particle and ozone pollution from the 1990 Clean Air Act amendments saved 160,000 lives, prevented 1.7 million asthma attacks and prevented 13 million work days from being lost to pollution related illness,” continued Sen. Carper. “The savings in the form of longer lives, healthier kids, and greater workforce productivity for just last year was $1.3 trillion. These benefits do not even include the job opportunities these regulations have created and will create in the future. According to a recent Ceres report, upcoming clean air regulations will not only saves lives, but will create much needed jobs every year – some 300,000 jobs annually and as many as one and a half million jobs over five years. In fact, for every dollar we spend implementing the Clean Air Act regulations we gain thirty in economic and health benefits. That strikes me as a great return on our investment and one worth protecting.”