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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
FEBRUARY 27, 2003
1:34 PM
CONTACT:  American Lung Association
Diane Maple: (202) 785-3355

Lung Association Urges Rejection of Administration's Weak Air Pollution Plan;
Re-Introduced Bill Threatens Public Health
 
WASHINGTON - February 27 - The following is a statement by John L. Kirkwood, president and CEO of the American Lung Association:

The Administration's air pollution legislation, re-introduced today in Congress, will gut the Clean Air Act and severely weaken U.S. efforts to curb air pollution. The plan will not reduce power plant emissions enough to clean the air or protect the nation's health. In fact, timely enforcement of the current Clean Air Act will provide greater pollution reductions sooner than the Administration's bill.

Unfortunately, the Administration is currently focused on attempts to avoid implementation of existing clean air regulations. The Administration's proposal, which would not be fully implemented for more than two decades, would delay reaching important clean air goals even further. The plan preempts state authority to aggressively pursue clean air for their citizens. Indeed, air pollution clean up plans needed to meet public health standards for smog and fine particles issued in 1997 are still years away.

Meanwhile, millions of Americans -- including millions of children with lung diseases like asthma -- continue to breathe dirty air. They deserve cleaner air now. The Administration bill threatens public health by delaying pollution clean up required by simply enforcing the current law. It will not move us forward and it fails to protect public health. Congress should reject it.

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