Trump Administration Gives Americans a Holiday “Gift” of More Smog

Statement of EDF Senior Attorney Rachel Fullmer – December 23, 2020

December 23, 2020
Sharyn Stein, 202-905-5718,

“Tens of millions of Americans live in an area with unhealthy levels of smog, and today’s decision by the Trump administration to leave inadequate protections in place risks their health and well-being.

“The administration is legally required to ensure that our national standards for ground-level ozone pollution are set at a level that protects public health, including a margin of safety for those who are especially vulnerable to smog. Smog exacerbates lung conditions like asthma and is linked to a wide array of serious heart and lung diseases. It’s especially dangerous for children, the elderly, people who work outdoors, and low-income communities or communities of color.

“However, instead of fulfilling his duty, EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler rushed a decision to maintain our current standards – in spite of a large body of medical and scientific studies showing those standards are outdated and do not adequately protect public health.

“The administration just gave all Americans the extremely unwanted holiday gift of more air pollution. This action should earn the administration giant lumps of coal in their stockings, but the rest of us should not have to suffer from the air pollution that coal smokestacks create. The incoming Biden Administration should take immediate steps to reverse this harmful decision.”

- Rachel Fullmer, EDF senior attorney

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