Urgent Action Needed to Save Critical Clean Air and Health Programs

Two bills are moving rapidly through the U.S. House of Representatives that would undermine or eliminate critical public health and environmental protection programs.

The legislation is moving through Congress with no public hearings, limited debate in Congress, and little opportunity for lawmakers to offer amendments, according to the American Lung Association.

The organization says citizens can stop these “sunset commissions.”

Members of the House were expected to vote on one or both of these bills this past week.

The Association is urging citizens to let their representatives know that they don’t want an unelected body making important decisions about key programs that protect public health and the environment.

In a mass email the Association urged subscribers to “Save these critical programs that protect the public health from being eliminated.”

The bills, H.R. 3282 and 5766 depicts new bureaucracy envisioned in these proposals according to Association literature.

“This legislation also cuts both the public and Congress out of the process of deciding the future of key federal programs,” states an Association rep. “Moreover, there are many programs for which there is simply no question of their worth. Sunset commission proposals do not address government waste; rather they create a new bureaucracy to require perpetual analyses of key federal programs.”

For all these reasons the Association is urging Congress to vote no on both bills.

According to Downwinders At Risk in Dallas, across America more than 100 cement plants spew a continuous stream of pollution into the air we breathe, releasing huge amounts of mercury and other toxic pollutants into the environment.

This past February more than 11,000 Earthjustice supporters sent emails to the Environmental Protection Agency, calling for stronger protections against mercury pollution from cement kilns.

The agency recently published a revised rule limiting toxic pollution from cement kilns, but more can still be done, says a Downwinders rep.

To take action, go to earthjustice.org/campaign/cement_kilns_mercury.

On July 13th the State Senate Committee in Dallas took testimony from citizens about the state agency’s failure to clean up the air in DFW (Dallas-Fort Worth).

It is current Texas Commission of Environmental Quality (TCEQ) not to include the estimated emission of 17 newly proposed coal-fired power plants into its computer modeling to examine whether they will undermine the region’s air quality goals, according to Downwinders.

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