HomeWashington Letter2017 ▶ ATS Testifies at Congressional Hearing in Support of Clean Air Act
ATS Testifies at Congressional Hearing in Support of Clean Air Act

September 2017

This week, ATS member Rebecca Bascom MD, MPH testified before the House Environment Subcommittee of the Energy and Commerce Committee in opposition to four separate bills that would provide industry specific exemptions or delays to meeting EPA air pollution standards. While the details of the four bills and affected industry varied, allowing more air pollution was consistent in all four legislative measures.

The four bills under consideration would:

  • Delay implementation of emissions reduction requirements on brick kilns
  • Delay emissions reductions requirement for wood stoves
  • Allow increased air toxic and acid gas emissions from power plants that burn waste coal
  • Grant legal protection to companies that sell devices to "defeat" auto manufacturer installed tailpipe emissions control devices.

In her testimony, Dr. Bascom summarized the scientific evidence showing air pollution's adverse health effects on patients with common conditions like COPD and asthma, while providing compelling real world examples of air pollution that impacts patients with severe lung disease like cystic fibrosis and pulmonary fibrosis.  Witnesses testifying in support of the bills noted the economic impact that the EPA regulations were having on the affected industries.  Dr. Bascom countered that air pollution has life and death impacts and economic impacts on the patients she serves.

While it is likely some or all of these bills will be passed by the House of Representatives, their fate in the Senate is far less certain.  The ATS will continue to urge Congress to reject legislation that weakens or delays implementation and enforcement of Clean Air Act emissions standards.

Last Reviewed: October 2017