Author: Quentin Scott    Published: 3/4/2023     CCAN

Dear Ronald,

The EPA can and should do SO much more on pollution.Tell them to stop blowing smoke.Rally in DC – Tue. 4/4!

The news from Washington is NOT good:  The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) keeps falling further and further behind in cutting pollution from dirty power plants nationwide. The result of these regulatory delays is that people get sick – especially people in poor communities of color – and the planet keeps warming.

This is unacceptable. The EPA has the authority and the moral responsibility to issue at least nine different rules that will clean up our air and protect our health from coal and gas plants. Missed deadlines and more excuses are no longer permissible. That’s why we’re asking you to come to Washington, D.C. on April 4 to tell Joe Biden’s EPA to “stop blowing smoke!”

Join us for a rally at 12 noon on Tuesday, April 4 to tell the EPA to stop chronic delays on its power sector regulations and move further, faster — not fall further behind. The rally is sponsored by CCAN, the Hip Hop Caucus, Evergreen Action, the Labor Network for Sustainability and many more groups. RSVP NOW!

The EPA is full of remarkably dedicated and skilled staffers inside an agency that has served this nation heroically for 50 years. But read this report to see how the EPA’s current chronic delays are hurting America — like the flagship carbon pollution rule to address global warming. That rule has already been delayed twice. Every delay means US power plants continue business-as-usual operations, contaminating our air and water, and having enormous impacts on our health.

The EPA is an essential player in establishing rules and definitions that govern our power sector and influence state and local environmental policies. The EPA’s failure to meet its own self imposed deadlines means the President will not fulfill his campaign promises and could leave recent climate progress vulnerable to a future hostile Administration. We’ve seen this before, the Trump Administration reversed Obama Administration rules because rules were released late.

SIGN UP NOW! These delays have real-life health impacts on the American people, especially communities of color. Join us on Tuesday, April 4 at 12 noon to let the EPA know these delays are unacceptable.

Here are six things the EPA needs to do NOW:

  • No more delays. Release carbon standards for power plants in April as promised.
  • Strengthen the soot standard for power plants. The proposal that was released does not go far enough and fails to meet the recommendations of the EPA’s own scientific advisory panel.
  • Update mercury and air toxics standards by releasing the Risk and Technology Review Report (RTR) EPA’s planned eight-month delay to release this report until March 2024 continues to put our children in harm’s way. EPA needs to release this report by December 2023, and begin implementing new abatement technologies.
  • Take action on coal ash. Coal ash can contaminate groundwater and cause cancer. EPA missed its own deadline to close the coal ash loophole and has yet to announce a timeline to close all loopholes including loopholes for legacy landfills. We call on the EPA to close these loopholes by the end of 2023.
  • Approve California’s vehicle emissions waiver. Truck manufacturers are pressuring the EPA to partially deny the waiver, which would stall the implementation of two California clean-trucks regulations. EPA has signaled it would approve the full waiver however the agency has been delaying full approval thus far.
  • Implement cumulative impact analysis in permitting. Last October, the EPA released a final report detailing recommendations for the Office of Research and Development’s cumulative impacts research. The agency recognizes the importance of this research approach but it has not publicly committed to using cumulative impact analysis when approving permits for infrastructure projects.

These delays have real-life health impacts on the American people, especially communities of color. Join us on Tuesday, April 4 at 12 noon to let the EPA know these delays are unacceptable. RSVP now!

This is undoubtedly an environmental justice concern. Black Americans are more likely to live near coal-fired power plants than their white counterparts. That means that these delays will perpetuate long-standing injustices that President Biden campaigned on addressing.


Quentin ScottFederal Policy DirectorChesapeake Climate Action Network

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