(Washington March 8, 2017) Today the House of Representatives passed the SENSE Act (H.R. 1119), with 14 Republicans opposing. This bill that would weaken clean air standards by allowing more mercury, acid gas, and sulfur dioxide pollution by creating a loophole for power plants that burn waste coal.
This follows a Wednesday vote on the BRICK Act (H.R. 1917) largely along party lines, which would give brick and structural clay facilities that emit hazardous air pollutants a free pass to pollute until all courts cases are resolved, providing an incentive to companies to continue to litigate forever. The BRICK Act would lead to more soot and toxic air pollution by delaying the date by which new residential wood heaters must comply with new health safeguards by three years.
“Protecting our families from mercury and sulfur dioxide pollution should not be partisan, yet once again Trump, Pruitt, and a very complicit Congress are trying to undermine sound science, and tear down EPA’s ability to protect American families from asthma attacks, heart disease, and cancer,” said EDF Action president Joe Bonfiglio. “This is a special interest gift, plain and simple. And it comes at a significant cost to all of us as more toxic pollution will hurt kids, low income communities, and the elderly.”
In addition to pushing legislation harmful to public health, EPA administrator Scott Pruitt has been working to systematically undermine clean air and water protections through attacking safeguards, proposing draconian budget cuts, and staffing the Agency with industry insiders.