New EPA Rule Will Save Texas Lives

Statement From Elena Craft, Environmental Defense Fund

July 7, 2011
Contact: 

NEWS RELEASE

Contact:
Matt Smelser, msmelser@edf.org, 512.731.3023

Today the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency finalized the Cross-State Air Pollution Rule. The rule will provide healthier, longer lives for Texas families and families downwind in other communities afflicted by the pollution from Texas coal plants. Limits on sulfur dioxide (SO2) and nitrogen oxide (NOx) in Texas have been included in the final rule. These new regulations will save up to 1,704 lives and provide $14 billion in human health benefits to Texas each year.

Statement from Elena Craft, Health Scientist with Environmental Defense Fund:

"The Cross-State Air Pollution Rule will save lives in Texas and across the country and mean fewer hospital visits for asthma patients. In the last month a number of Texas elected officials as well as Chairman Bryan Shaw of the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality have spoken out against addressing Texas smokestack pollution as part of these vitally important clean air protections. The development of these clean air standards began under the administration of President George W. Bush.

Texas power plants collectively are the nation's largest emitter of NOx and the second largest emitter of SO2; not to mention Texas' number one ranking in benzene, mercury and carbon pollution. It's time for politics to get out the way of progress and for Texas officials to work with EPA to clean Texas' air and protect the health of Texas families. We cannot continue to make those who suffer from the health complications caused by these dangerous pollutants wait any longer."