Federal Roundup: Recent Executive and Legislative Actions

Federal Roundup: Recent Executive and Legislative Actions

It’s been a few weeks since I updated everyone on executive and legislative actions. Sadly, this is not because there has been nothing to update; so this will be a long one! However, one reason this update is delayed is because I attended an inspiring conference two weeks ago that replenished my “hope budget” and gave me new energy to tackle the many and ever-growing attacks on clean air. Since I blogged last month, several new developments have cropped up and we have new updates:

New …

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EPA Makes Positive Changes to Comply with Civil Rights Act, but Uncertainty Remains

EPA Makes Positive Changes to Comply with Civil Rights Act, but Uncertainty Remains

On December 29, 2016, the EPA withdrew a proposed rule to amend its nondiscrimination regulation regarding compliance information for Title VI of the Civil Rights Act.

Last year Gasp weighed in on the proposed changes and objected to the removal of deadlines in the proposed rule. We are happy to report that EPA considered Gasp’s and other groups’ comments opposing this change and has decided to withdraw the proposed amendments.

EPA is also moving enforcement of external compliance with Title VI from the Office of Civil Rights …

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Gasp Launches New Online Air Quality Tool

Gasp Launches New Online Air Quality Tool

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Gasp Launches New Online Air Quality Tool

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (Jan. 5, 2017) — In an effort to reduce exposure to the harmful health effects of air pollution, Gasp this week announced that it has released a new online tool for users to get the current and next day’s air quality for the Birmingham area.

The Air Quality Widget displays the current air quality index, or AQI, with a corresponding color code based on the Environmental Protection Agency’s AirNow data. It updates twice per hour. The …

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New Ozone Standards Will Protect Children, Elderly

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency today released a long-awaited new air quality health standard for ground-level ozone, or smog. This announcement is welcome news for thousands of Alabamians young and old who want to live a healthy life.

The EPA set the new threshold at 70 parts per billion, down from the previous level of 75 ppb set in 2008. Regulated under the Clean Air Act, ground-level ozone is a harmful air pollutant that forms when sunlight mixes with emissions from cars, power plants, and factories. The EPA’s Scientific …

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MATS Rule Not Dead, Will Protect Public Health

MATS Rule Not Dead, Will Protect Public Health

In April, I wrote about the new Mercury and Air Toxics Standards (MATS) rule that had just gone into effect:

“Gasp strongly supports the MATS rule because it will be crucial in improving air quality and public health. Until recently, there were no national limits on emissions of mercury and other toxics from power plants. […] These toxic air pollutants are known or suspected of causing cancer and other serious health effects including premature death, heart attacks, bronchitis and asthma.”

On June 29, the United States Supreme Court …

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EPA Proposes Adding North Birmingham Site to National Priorities List

EPA Proposes Adding North Birmingham Site to National Priorities List

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is proposing the “35th Avenue Superfund Site” in north Birmingham to the National Priorities List (NPL). According to the EPA, the site poses “risks to human health and the environment.” The Gasp documentary “Toxic City: Birmingham’s Dirty Secret” highlights these northern Birmingham communities and why their clean up should be a national priority.

“Cleaning up hazardous waste sites protects our country’s most vulnerable populations, prevents diseases, increases local property values and facilitates economic restoration of communities across America,” Mathy Stanislaus, assistant administrator …

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Gasp Petitions Board of Health to Disapprove ABC Coke Permit, Requests Hearing

Gasp Petitions Board of Health to Disapprove ABC Coke Permit, Requests Hearing

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (Aug. 25, 2014) —€” Gasp, a non-profit health advocacy organization, filed a petition Tuesday with the Jefferson County Board of Health requesting a hearing on ABC Coke€™s Operating Permit. That permit was issued by the Jefferson County Department of Health, which is overseen by the Board of Health, on Aug. 11. ABC Coke is owned by Drummond Company.

Gasp recently filed extensive comments on the ABC Coke permit, which was up for renewal this year. The company, located in Tarrant, Ala., is one of …

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Supreme Court Delivers Victory for Clean Air

The Supreme Court today announced a decision hailed by health and environmental advocates as a victory for clean air. The Cross-State Air Pollution Rule is a 2011 Environmental Protection Agency regulation that requires certain states to reduce emissions from power plants that pollutes the air of states down wind.

The rule was put on hold when the D.C. circuit court struck it down. The Supreme Court reversed that decision in a 6-to-€“2 vote. Ruth Bader Ginsburg wrote the decision, writing, “EPA’s cost-effective allocation of emission reductions among upwind states, we …

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Gasp Releases 175-Page Comment on ABC Coke Permit

Gasp Releases 175-Page Comment on ABC Coke Permit

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — Gasp, a nonprofit health advocacy organization working for clean air in Alabama, has released a 175-page comment on the Title V operating permit draft for ABC Coke, which is currently up for renewal with the Jefferson County Department of Health (JCDH). Click here to view the document.

The comment period expired Friday, April 18. Gasp has made its comments available to the public to raise awareness about the toxic pollution coming from the Drummond-owned coke by-products facility in Tarrant, Ala.

Key findings from the executive …

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ABC Coke Draft Permit Comments Due Friday, April 18

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — Comments on the draft air pollution permit renewal for ABC Coke, a Drummond Company, are due to health department officials by close of business (4:30 p.m.) Friday, April 18. A copy of the draft permit can be found here.

The Jefferson County Department of Health held a public hearing regarding the permit Monday, April 14. Dozens of interested residents affected by air pollution packed a small conference room at JCDH’s central office in Southside Birmingham. (Gasp had requested the time and location of …

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