Smoggy Skies Act passes U.S. House
The U.S. House of Representatives voted Wednesday to adopt H.R. 4775, sponsored by Rep. Pete Olson (R-Texas). Dubbed the “Smoggy Skies Act,” the measure would permanently weaken the Clean Air Act, block updated ozone pollution limits for years, and impose sweeping changes to future standards for smog-forming ozone and five other major air pollutants.
Responding to the latest scientific evidence, last year the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency tightened acceptable ambient levels of ozone, the pollutant that can trigger headaches, nausea, asthma attacks and in the worst cases, premature death. Today’s legislation, which the White House has pledged to veto, would delay the new ozone limits of 70 parts per billion and other standards to better protect public health from air pollution.
Sarah Bucci, State Director of Environment Virginia, issued this statement:
“At the most basic level, every Virginian should be able to breathe air that doesn’t make them sick, but today Congress said that was too much to ask. Rather than protect their constituents from smog-induced asthma attacks and emergency room visits, a majority voted to protect the pocketbooks and the agenda of big polluters.
“Under this dangerous bill, some Americans would continue to breathe unhealthy air for another 10 years, and that’s unacceptable. We applaud Congressman Don Beyer, Gerry Connolly and Bobby Scott for standing up to the polluters’ allies in Congress. We call Virginia’s U.S. Senators Tim Kaine and Mark Warner to reject this hazardous legislation to help ensure cleaner, healthier air for our kids.”