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CCE PRESS CENTER

PRESS RELEASE

For immediate release:
Monday, September 26, 2011
For more information contact:
Adrienne Esposito, Executive Director, 516-390-7150, 631-384-1378 (mobile)
Brian Smith, Communications and Program Director, 716-831-3206, bsmith@citizenscampaign.org

PASSAGE OF TRAIN ACT BY US HOUSE IS DANGEROUS ASSAULT ON CLEAN AIR

“Train Wreck” bill cripples EPA’s ability to protect our children from toxic pollution

Citizens Campaign for the Environment (CCE) is calling on the US Senate and President Obama to reject legislation that was recently passed by the US House. HR 2401, known as the TRAIN Act, was passed 249-169 on Friday, September 23. Aptly referred to as the “Clean Air Train Wreck”, HR 2401 would cripple the US Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) ability to protect our air through the Clean Air Act.

“The House is continuing its assault on long-standing public health and environmental protection measures with the passage of this ill-conceived legislation,” said Adrienne Esposito, Executive Director. “The ‘Clean Air Train Wreck’ would result in more children being hurt by dangerous pollutants like mercury, which impair their ability to walk, talk and learn. Congress is dramatically out of touch with the public’s need and support for clean water and air.”

Disguised as an accountability measure, HR 2401 would delay and inhibit EPA’s ability to implement clean air rules, including those that would reduce:
• Mercury, a neurotoxin that disproportionately impacts pregnant women and children;
• Hazardous Air Pollutants, including known carcinogens;
• Sulfur dioxides and nitrogen oxides, the two precursors to acid rain;
• Fine particulate matter, which can cause heart attacks and premature death;
• Greenhouse gases, which are responsible for climate change; and
• Other pollutant that EPA determines to adversely impact air quality.

Rules promulgated under the Clean Air Act are thoroughly vetted and include meaningful public participation opportunities. The economic impact of implementing these rules is considered. In fact, EPA’s proposed mercury rule would provide $5-$13 in health benefit for every one dollar invested, while creating up to 158,000 jobs.

“We must not allow Congress to put corporate polluters above the health and well-being of the public,” continued Esposito. “We are counting on the Senate to stop this Train wreck in its tracks, and reject it outright. Clean water and air are not luxury items that can be dispensed in challenging economic times, but rather they are necessities that the public needs and deserves.”

Residents of New York and Connecticut strongly support implementation of the proposed mercury rule, with nearly 40,000 recently signing petitions in support of EPA’s proposed rule. Representatives from New York State that voted for the TRAIN Act include: King, Turner, Grimm, Gibson, Hanna, Buerkle, and Reed. All Connecticut House members voted against the bill.
 

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Citizens Campaign for the Environment (CCE) empowers communities and advocates solutions for our shared environment and public health and is supported by over 80,000 members throughout New York State and Connecticut. www.citizenscampaign.org

updated by bsmith  9/27/11