Speak Up For Clean Air: EPA Ozone Comment Period Ends March 17

Texans – and neighbors from the region – gathered in Arlington last Thursday for EPA hearings on proposed new ozone standards.

Follow this link where you can make your voice heard at the EPA: bit.ly/EPA_Ozone_Comment

Sarah Sharif's blog on this site last week "Tell The EPA You Want Strong Smog Protections" provides all the details on the EPA's proposals and it's impact on health. The hearings took place – and with Sarah's and Sierra Club's statewide organizing – the testimony was clear. Today's ozone standard of 75 parts per billion (ppb) is inadequate to safeguard public health. The EPA is evaluating new standards over a range of 70 down to 60 ppb.

Citizens, scientists, medical professionals all spoke up – both in testimony to the EPA and at a Press Conference during the event.

Speaking at the press conference are:

Dr. Susan Pacheco, University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston, Pediatric Allergy and Immunology, Houston, Texas

Dr. John H. Kissel, Internal Medicine, St. Louis, Missouri

Dr. Robert Haley, Dallas County Medical Society


Wendy Bredhold, Moms Clean Air Force


Here's the video, just click on it for highlights of the press conference.



The hearings lasted all day with each industry apologist sandwiched between fifteen or twenty citizens talking about how air pollution and ozone effects their lives. In one dramatic moment, after the Baton Rouge Chamber of Commerce (left) spoke about NOT strengthening smog standards because businesses won't move there, this brave woman spoke about the costs of her oxygen and medicines due to asthma. (Click the photo for video testimony.)

"When you cant breathe, nothing else matters"

As the testimony continued, the EPA heard from medical experts and asthma sufferers requesting the standard be set at the 60 parts per billion level.

Mothers testified on behalf of their children about the risk they face going outside.

And Kamene Dornubari-Ogidi testified powerfully about the impact of asthma on her life – she was diagnosed with asthma while living in Dallas at age 11. She talked about how this condition – amplified by polluted air, ozone and smog – is a violation of her person and imposes hardships on her by the fossil fuel industries in pursuit of profit.

Researchers showed a chart of maximum ozone levels enacted by many developed and developing countries around the world. Clearly the U.S. is lagging on this key measure of healthy air.

At the end of the day, it's up to us to fight for clean air.

Please join your fellow Texans and speak up for clean air for you and the future generations. Kids need clean air to grow up healthy and to grow up outdoors. Reggie James, Director of Lonestar Sierra Club made that point forcefully. Our children, he said, face a double threat. Many are obese because of our unhealthy diet and many stay indoors because of unhealthy air.

"It's kind of a catch-22. We don't want them to go outside, we don't want them to stay inside."