Lauren Whittenberg, 512-691-3437, firstname.lastname@example.org
Peter Zalzal, 303-946-0907, email@example.com
(Washington, D.C. – December 19,2012) Today, a broad coalition of environmental, conservation and children’s health groups petitioned the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to expand ozone monitoring in communities, near protected national parks and wilderness areas, and at oil and gas industrial activities across the nation to protect Americans impacted by oil and gas air pollution. The petition also requests EPA to issue a state-of-the art blueprint for clean air measures that states and communities can readily carry out to reduce this harmful air pollution and strengthen human health protections. Best in class clean air solutions to reduce oil and gas pollution often can be implemented in a manner that saves the oil and gas companies money and strengthens our nation’s energy security by limiting the venting, leaking and discharges of a valuable U.S. energy resource.
Ground-level ozone or “smog” contributes to serious adverse health impacts, including decreased lung function and premature mortality, and it damages foliage. Children, the elderly, Americans with existing lung and heart disease, and those active outside are especially vulnerable.
The petition is available here, and calls for EPA to take two actions that will provide important public health protections for communities impacted by oil and gas emissions that contribute to harmful ozone pollution:
- First, we respectfully urge EPA to require broad deployment of ozone air quality monitors in oil and natural gas development areas. Requiring the necessary air monitors will ensure that Americans have clear, transparent information about whether the air in their communities meets the nation’s health-based air quality standards for ground-level ozone or “smog” pollution as oil and natural gas operations in their communities expands briskly.
- Second, we respectfully ask that EPA provide communities with tools to help reduce smog-forming pollution from oil and gas development by issuing control technology guidelines (“CTGs”) for oil and gas equipment. These clean air measures can be some of the single most cost-effective methods for reducing smog-forming pollution in areas that violate the National Ambient Air Quality Standards for ozone as well as those areas seeking to attain and maintain the National Ambient Air Quality Standards under the Ozone Advance Program.
The petitioners include the following organizations: California Kids IAQ, Citizens Campaign for the Environment, Clean Air Task Force, Clean Water Action, Coalition for Safe a Safe Environment, Community Dreams, Delaware Riverkeeper Network, Environmental Defense Fund, Environmental Law and Policy Center, Environment America, Environment California, Environment Colorado, Environment Illinois, Environment Maryland, Environment New Mexico, Environment New York, Environment North Carolina, PennEnvironment, Environment Texas, Mom’s Clean Air Force, National Audubon Society, National Parks Conservation Association, National Wildlife Federation, Natural Resources Defense Council, New Mexico Environmental Law Center, Powder River Basin Resource Council, SkyTruth, Sierra Club, Texas League of Conservation Voters, Wyoming Outdoor Council.
Environmental Defense Fund (edf.org), a leading national nonprofit organization, creates transformational solutions to the most serious environmental problems. EDF links science, economics, law and innovative private-sector partnerships. See twitter.com/EDFEnergyEX; facebook.com/EnvDefenseFund; and http://blogs.edf.org/energyexchange/.