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Audubon Ohio

On Feb. 14, Cleveland families declared their love for clean air by delivering handmade Valentines cards to Ohio’s U.S. Senators in support of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and new federal clean air standards.

“Some in Congress are working on provisions to block new clean air standards and I want to be sure that Ohio members of Congress don’t take my breath away but instead support the U.S. EPA and a clean and healthy future for my children” said Anna Mauser Martinez of Cleveland Heights. She joined her sons at a Valentine card party to create clean air Valentines. “Taking the time to make a handmade Valentine was my way of personally reminding our Senators that I, and many other families they represent, care deeply about clean air and the agencies trying to protect it.”

Congress is currently considering several legislative proposals to prevent the EPA from protecting the public health with new clean air standards that would reduce air pollution from toxic substances like mercury, arsenic, soot, smog, carbon and other pollutants. Many of these new standards would save thousands of lives each year.

The new mercury and air toxics standards will save as many as 11,000 lives, prevent as many as 130,000 asthma attacks among children and prevent as many as 4,700 heart attacks each year according to the EPA. The Cross State Air Pollution rule will save as many as 34,000 lives, prevent as many as 15,000 heart attacks and prevent as many as 400,000 asthma attacks by reducing dangerous air pollution in communities downwind and often in other states from dirty power plants. The new standards for car emissions will reduce industrial carbon pollution that threatens thousands of lives and will spur innovation that will improve automobile mileage and create jobs in the auto industry.

“Families in Ohio support the U.S. EPA because we love clean air and because we love our children” said Marnie Urso, mother of two and spokesperson for Audubon Ohio. “We are asking Senators Brown and Portman to have a heart and protect the health of our kids here in Cleveland, and across the state, by making sure that the strongest clean air protections are enacted.”

For more information about this event, email Marnie Urso. For more information about clean air, visit our Clean Air Act page.

Ohio Citizen Action

by Sandy Buchanan

Six environmental and community organizations have asked the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to undertake a formal review of the City of Cleveland’s draft air permit for its proposed garbage incinerator on Ridge Road, citing deficiencies in the Ohio EPA's draft permit and the City of Cleveland’s conflict of interest as both the proponent and reviewer of the permit.

As mentioned in an earlier article on EcoWatch.org, Cleveland’s city-owned electric company, Cleveland Public Power, is proposing to bring in garbage from the city and Northeast Ohio region to be “gasified” by using a type of incineration technology new to the U.S. Cleveland Public Power has applied to the Ohio EPA for an air pollution permit for the facility. According to the application, the incinerator would become one of the largest sources of air pollution in Cleveland, especially for soot and mercury.

The groups—Environmental Health Watch, Earth Day Coalition, Northeast Ohio Sierra Club, Ohio Citizen Action, Center for Health Environment and Justice and Natural Resources Defense Council—asked the U.S. EPA for an environmental justice designation for the community, which would require additional scrutiny of the proposal. They also asked the Ohio EPA for a 60-day extension on the public comment period for the draft permit, which now expires on Jan. 13, 2012.

For more information, click here.

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