West Hartford, CT – Today, the U.S. House of Representatives passed by a vote of 262-161 a bill blocking critical health protections against mercury and other toxic air pollution from cement plants (H.R. 2681). This bill continues the trend of House Majority Leader Eric Cantor’s (R-VA) pollution agenda putting polluters over people and gutting life-saving clean air protections. All five of Connecticut’s Representatives opposed this bill.
“Last week, the House passed a bill putting American’s lives at risk by indefinitely delaying the cleanup of soot, smog, and toxic pollution from power plants, and this week they are at it again, passing another dirty air bill that could result in thousands of premature deaths and asthma attacks nationwide,” said Christopher Phelps, Environment Connecticut Program Director. “This relentless and unprecedented attack on clean air must stop. We applaud Connecticut’s House delegation for standing up for public health and opposing this dangerous attack on clean air protections, and urge Senators Blumenthal and Lieberman to help lead the fight against this dangerous legislation in the Senate.”
H.R. 2681 blocks the Environmental Protection Agency from issuing final toxic pollution standards for cement plants for 15 months, and then eliminates any deadlines by which polluters must meet final standards once they are issued. This indefinitely delays compliance with toxic air pollution standards for these facilities, allowing more mercury, arsenic, lead, and cancer-causing toxins into the air.
“Congress should look out for the health and wellbeing of American families, not polluters,” said Phelps. “The good news for Connecticut is that our Representatives are opposing Representative Cantor’s radical anti-clean air agenda.”
The full roll call vote is here: http://clerk.house.gov/evs/2011/roll764.xml