Seven North Carolina congressmen vote for more air pollution

September 26, 2011

(Washington, D.C. – September 26, 2011) Seven members of North Carolina’s Congressional delegation voted to block key clean air regulations last week, in spite of the increased health risk for voters back home.

Reps. Renee Ellmers (R-NC-2), Walter B. Jones (R-NC-3), Virginia Foxx (R-NC-5), Howard Coble (R-NC-6), Mike McIntyre – (D-NC-7), Sue Myrick (R-NC-9), and Patrick McHenry (R-NC-10) voted in favor of the TRAIN Act (H.R. 2401), a sweeping anti-clean air act that passed the U.S. House of Representatives late Friday. The legislation would block many critical public health safeguards, and would indefinitely delay two important and long-awaited air pollution standards – the Mercury and Air Toxics Standard and the Cross-State Air Pollution Rule.

The TRAIN Act would delay those two standards until 2018 at the earliest, and the delay could be indefinite.

The TRAIN Act would result in more than 25,000 premature deaths in the first year alone due to smog, soot, and toxic air pollution. There would be more than 175,000 more asthma attacks, many of them in children.

In North Carolina, the delay of those two standards would cost more than 2400 lives per year.

 “This bill would give us more pollution and endanger our children’s health. The congressmen who voted for more smog, soot and mercury – including some who have supported common sense limits on these pollutants in the past – need to explain themselves to North Carolina voters,” said Bill Petty of Environmental Defense Fund. “Now it’s up to the Senate to stop this destructive bill.”