Millions of people live in the shadow of oil refineries and are forced to breathe air that sickens and kills—especially our vulnerable children.
Too many are exposed to uncontrolled chemical releases every day, including the nine refinery disasters that have been federally investigated by the Chemical Safety board in the last 10 years alone.
The oil industry knows the dangers and is fighting new protections against reducing toxic emissions, even though stronger pollution controls exist and are in use at many of the nation’s refineries.
Please join with us in supporting efforts to ensure refineries clean up their act and our air.
The EPA has just released a plan to protect fenceline communities from toxic oil refinery pollution which includes long overdue health standards and expanded air monitoring. This plan is a great start, but we need your help in making it go further to provide real protections on the ground.
We are in courts across the nation to protect the rights of communities who are being exposed to too much air pollution. We worked with local communities to compel EPA to perform this important rulemaking. The next step is for you to stand with us and fight big oil's attempts to weaken the protections all Americans need.
Tell EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy that she must stand up to Big Oil and protect every community's right to breathe clean, healthy air.
- EPA Administrator McCarthy
I support reducing toxic air emissions and strengthening protections from our nation's oil refineries to prevent cancer and save lives. The EPA has taken an important step and should adopt emission limits and monitoring requirements that truly protect the health of fenceline communities. Now, the agency must use its full legal authority to reduce the emissions of these toxic chemicals from refineries based on the most up-to-date scientific understanding of the impacts of refineries' hazardous air pollution on public health -- especially for children and communities of color. This rule will be a test of EPA's and the President's commitment to environmental justice. I strongly urge strengthening the proposed rule and resisting industry pressure to delete important new requirements like fenceline monitoring that must be part of the final rule.
EPA has a vital leadership role in resolving these important issues, making sure the final rule has a real-world impact on the ground, such as:
* Stronger fenceline monitoring and air standards that use the best current technology to give neighborhoods a real-time, continuous measure of pollution, not just a snapshot, and ensure refineries must quickly fix pollution problems.
* Meaningful restrictions and reductions in the overuse of waste gas flaring, in addition to new, flare monitoring and efficiency improvements that have already been implemented at some refineries in the U.S.
* Controls for emissions from refineries, including wastewater, leaks, and upsets, that can cause major health and safety hazards, based on the emission reductions achieved by the cleanest sources, and the safest available technology and practices.
* An updated risk assessment approach to finally account for real-world impacts to children and overburdened communities, to include a finding that the current health risk is unacceptable.
There is an opportunity now to make our air cleaner and communities safer. EPA and President Obama can leave a legacy that creates a robust refineries rule so all exposed communities can breathe more freely.
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