Wed, 29 March 2006
Protect Pennsylvania's Babies: Health Impacts of Mercury, an Interview with Dr. Ted Schettler, MD, MPH
In late 2004, PennFuture together with many other sporting, health, faith-based, conservation, and women's organizations (now numbering almost 70) petitioned the Pennsylvania Environmental Quality Board (EQB) to create a rule requiring coal-fired power plants in the Commonwealth to reduce their toxic mercury emissions by 90 percent. Power plants are the largest source of mercury pollution, and Pennsylvania ranks third worst in the nation for mercury emissions from power plants, and is home to the number one worst mercury polluter in the country (the Keystone plant in Armstrong County).
The Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) has moved forward in creating the draft rule, which is a significant improvement over the Bush Administration's federal rule (Clean Air Mercury Rule or CAMR), that many states including Pennsylvania have filed lawsuits to challenge. The proposed rule would result in mercury emission reductions of 80 percent by 2010, and 90 percent by 2015 from Pennsylvania power plants.
In this podcast, PennFuture's Heather Sage speaks with Dr. Ted Schettler, M.D., M.P.H., Science Director at the Science & Environmental Health Network, a national expert on environmental links to reproductive and developmental disorders, neurotoxicity, and other health problems. Dr. Schettler also works closely with the Collaborative on Health and the Environment, a nonpartisan partnership of individuals and organizations concerned with connecting the role of hte environment in human and ecosystem health. PennFuture is a partner with the Collaborative on Health and the Environment in Pennsylvania (CHE-Penn).
What can you do? Contact your state elected officials and voice your support for the Pennsylvania Mercury Rule.
Category:Mercury -- posted at: 7:23 AM
Fri, 10 March 2006
On March 8, 2006 the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency held one of only a few public hearings in the nation in Philadelphia on its recent proposed air quality standards for fine particles, commonly known as "soot." The other two hearings were held in Chicago and San Francisco. Hundreds of people from all walks of life and different perspectives attended the hearing, the large majority testifying on the need for stronger standards that are more protective of health than those proposed by the Bush administration.
In this podcast, PennFuture's Christine Knapp attends the hearing and speaks with Kevin Stewart, Director of Environmental Health for the American Lung Association of the Mid-Atlantic and Natalie McCloskie, a mother from New Jersey whose family deals each day with asthma, both among the more than 60 people who testified at the hearing.
We also hear a press conference held outside the hearing, organized by PennEnvironment, featuring Energy & Clean Air Advocate Nathan Willcox; Natalie McCloskie and her son who suffers from asthma; Maryland State Delegate and Chair of the National Caucus of Environmental Legislators James Hubbard; Dr. George Thurston from the NYU School of Medicine; Rev. Sandra L. Strauss, Director of Public Advocacy for the Pennsylvania Council of Churches; Wick Havens, Chief of the Division of Air Resources Management at the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection’s Bureau of Air Quality, representing STAPPA and ALAPCO, a national association of state and local air pollution control officials; and Paul G. Billings, Vice President of National Policy & Advocacy for the American Lung Association.
PennEnvironment released a study in January 2006 called "Plagued by Pollution," detailing how soot from coal-fired power plants and diesel engines cause serious health problems including asthma attacks, heart attacks, strokes, lung cancer, and premature death even at levels of particulates in the air lower than the currently-proposed EPA standards.
PennFuture supports the need for tighter health-based standards on soot pollution. We represent citizens in Masontown, Pennsylvania and are working to reduce soot pollution from the Hatfield's Ferry coal-fired power plant in Greene County.
Thu, 9 March 2006
The Pennsylvania House of Representatives Environmental Resources and Energy Committee, chaired by Rep. William Adolph (R-165) held an informational hearing on mercury emissions management on February 23, 2006 in Harrisburg. PennFuture's Jan Jarrett was invited to provide testimony at the hearing. Others invited to testify were Kathleen McGinty, Secretary of the Department of Environmental Protection; Douglas Biden, President of the Electric Power Generation Association; Robert Wayland from the EPA Office of Air and Radiation; Dr. Terry Sullivan from the Brookhaven National Laboratory; Eugene Trisko, an environmental attorney representing the United Mine Workers of America and the Pennsylvania Coal Association; and Nathan Willcox, Clean Air Advocate with Penn Environment.
This podcast contains Jan Jarrett's testimony at the hearing. To listen to the hearing in its entirety (which is about an hour and a half), click here.
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