Statements and Speeches

WASHINGTON – Today, Sen. Tom Carper (D-Del.), a senior member of the Environment & Public Works Committee and ranking member of the Subcommittee on Clean Air and Nuclear Safety, released the following statement regarding the committee’s hearing on “Challenges and Implications of EPA’s Proposed National Ambient Air Quality Standard for Ground-Level Ozone.”

“As medical science evolves, so too does our understanding of ‘healthy air.’ There’s no question that dirty power plants, automobiles, and other sources create ozone pollution that affects our health – from asthma and strokes, to heart attacks and even early deaths. We’ve known it to be the case for decades. We also know ozone pollution is especially dangerous for the health of our children. Parents who have watched their kids with asthma suffer on high ozone days know this better than anyone. And as our medical research has become more advanced, so too has our understanding of the extent to which ozone pollution in the air makes us sick, giving us a greater ability to protect public health through public policy. 

“As a parent, I’ve spent a lot of time worrying about my own children’s health, but as a U.S. Senator, I worry about every child’s health. That’s why I’ve worked so hard with my colleagues – Democrats and Republicans alike – to make sure that all our children have clean air that's safe to breathe. We have made remarkable progress in cleaning up harmful air pollution, but – if truth be told – we still have a long way to go in many parts of America.

“Through the Clean Air Act, Congress required the EPA to base air quality and public health standards on the best science available and to review these benchmarks every five years. After reviewing more than a thousand scientific studies, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has concluded that our current ozone health standards are too weak and no longer adequately protect our health. The EPA are not the only ones to come to this conclusion.  EPA’s independent scientific advisory board concluded in 2007 that the current ozone standard was not protective enough of health.  So despite what many may say, the EPA’s announcement is purely a statement of fact – to protect our health, we need less ozone pollution.

“I urge the EPA’s administrator to move quickly to finalize plans for the new ozone air quality standards so our nation can finally move forward in making the pollution reductions we need to achieve cleaner, healthier air.  I look forward to hearing today’s testimony and thank the chairman for having this hearing.”