EDF Health Scientist Testifies Before Congress about the Dangers of Smog

June 21, 2018
Sharyn Stein, 202-572-3396, sstein@edf.org

(Washington, D.C. – June 21, 2018) EDF Senior Scientist Elena Craft will testify before the House Science Committee’s Subcommittee on the Environment today about the dangers of smog – and the increased risk Americans will face because EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt is weakening protections against it.


“Ground-level ozone, a component of smog, is a harmful air pollutant that irritates the lungs, exacerbates lung conditions like asthma, and is linked to a wide-array of serious heart and lung diseases,” Craft says in her testimony. “Between 2008 and 2015, there were more than 1,000 new studies that further confirmed the already well-documented health and environmental harms associated with ozone.”


EPA estimates that its 2015 ozone standard will save hundreds of lives and prevent 230,000 asthma attacks in children each year. But Pruitt has delayed enforcing the standard, and is attempting to rollback other protections that help reduce the air pollution that causes smog.


While EPA drags its feet, the danger is growing. The American Lung Association’s State of the Air report for 2018 found that for some areas of the country ozone pollution “worsened significantly” compared to the prior year.


Craft traveled from Texas to speak to Subcommittee Members today.  


“San Antonio, Texas is one of several areas in my home state that is particularly at risk. EPA has still not determined whether air quality in the San Antonio area meets the 2015 standard, despite the fact that monitors in the area have exceeded [recommended levels] for several years,” says Craft in her testimony. “By failing in its duty to determine whether the San Antonio area meets the 2015 standard, EPA is unlawfully delaying needed air pollution protections for this region, [and] the citizens and children of San Antonio suffer the consequences as we move toward the height of summer ozone season.”


You can read Craft’s full testimony here.

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