Since 2009, EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson has led the charge toward providing clean air protection, putting into place historic standards that will ultimately help save thousands of lives and prevent hundreds of thousands of asthma and heart attacks.
Last month, after Administrator Jackson announced that she would be leaving the Environmental Protection agency, President Barack Obama praised such actions made under her tenure:
Over the last four years, Lisa Jackson has shown an unwavering commitment to the health of our families and our children. Under her leadership, the EPA has taken sensible and important steps to protect the air we breathe and the water we drink, including implementing the first national standard for harmful mercury pollution, taking important action to combat climate change under the Clean Air Act, and playing a key role in establishing historic fuel economy standards that will save the average American family thousands of dollars at the pump, while also slashing carbon pollution.”
EDF President Fred Krupp echoed similar sentiments in a recent statement:
It has been an honor to work with Lisa Jackson. During her tenure as EPA Administrator, America has taken strides toward cleaner air, a smaller carbon footprint and a healthier environment . . . Most importantly, EPA helped set a path for us to begin to meaningfully fight climate change by completing the Greenhouse Gas Endangerment Finding, and then started us down the path towards addressing greenhouse gases by proposing carbon pollution standards for new power plants.”
Since 2010, Texas Clean Air Matters has covered many of these historic EPA successes, giving praise where genuinely due. In “Court Upholds Historic EPA Actions, Rebukes Texas' Lawsuits To Undermine Health Protections,” for example, we wrote that the ruling “underscores what we have long known — that EPA’s climate protections are firmly grounded in science and law and will help secure a healthier, more prosperous future for all Americans.” In “Court Upholds Sulfur Dioxide Standards” we hailed an appellate court decision affirming EPA’s standards, designed to protect American families from harmful, short-term sulfur dioxide (SO2) exposure.
Just last month we praised EPA in “Houston Exceeds Health Standards for Particulate Matter: More Work Ahead” for releasing new soot standards, a move that will help secure healthy air for millions of Americans, including those in Houston where existing soot levels already exceed the new limits.
As Administrator Jackson departs, we wish to thank her for the enormous strides made toward improving America’s air quality under her leadership, and to issue a call for the next administrator to earnestly continue the admirable legacy that she leaves.
We leave you with a short list of EPA’s official* clean air milestones made during Administrator Jackson’s tenure:
- Finalizing Clean Air Standards for Industrial Boilers, Incinerators and Cement Kilns
In December 2012, EPA finalized changes in Clean Air Act standards for boilers and certain incinerators, providing important public health protections. While providing flexibility to industry for implementation, the standards will avoid up to 8,100 premature deaths, prevent 5,100 heart attacks and avert 52,00 asthma attacks per year in 2015.
- Setting New Health-Based Standards for Fine Particle Pollution
In December 2012, EPA established the annual health standard for fine particle pollution (PM2.5), including soot, at 12 micrograms per cubic meter. Fine particle pollution can penetrate deep into the lungs and has been linked to a wide range of health effects, including premature deaths, heart attacks and strokes as well as acute bronchitis and aggravated asthma among children. Read More