Carbon Pollution Standards for Power Plants Good for NC
Health experts, labor and industry leaders and environmental advocates will speak at a “citizen hearing” in Chapel Hill on Tuesday, July 22, 5:30-8 p.m. in support of the EPA carbon pollution standards for power plants released in June. The meeting will take place at United Church of Chapel Hill, located at 1321 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.
The EPA’s Clean Power Plan will place historic limits on carbon pollution from power plants. Carbon pollution fuels climate change, triggers asthma attacks and respiratory disease, worsens air quality and contributes to more frequent, destructive, costly and deadly extreme weather events. The Clean Power Plan will prevent up to 150,000 asthma attacks and 6,600 premature deaths annually by 2030, according to EPA.
In 2010, more than 369,000 children in North Carolina had been diagnosed with asthma, which is more than 16 percent of our state’s children. These adverse health impacts are expected to increase over time as air quality continues to suffer from carbon emissions. Extreme weather events, such as Hurricane Irene (2011) and Superstorm Sandy (2012), cost the state $7 billion. Increasing temperatures, declining air quality and frequent extreme events will have profound impact on human health and economy.
Tuesday’s event comes ahead of regional public hearings by the EPA to seek public comment on the proposed action. Regional EPA hearings will be hosted in Atlanta, Ga., Denver, Colo., Washington, D.C., and Pittsburgh, Pa. In order to provide North Carolinians an opportunity to participate in the public comment process, Clean Air Carolina, Environment NC, NC Interfaith Power & Light, National Wildlife Federation, and Sierra Club NC Chapter are co-hosting the hearing to gather testimony.
Gayatri Ankem is Triangle Manager of Medical Advocates for Healthy Air, an initiative of Clean Air Carolina. A Tar Heel, Ankem has a master's degree in Public Health from UNC Chapel Hill's Gillings School of Public Health.