Public Hearing: DAQ to consider rollback of Air Toxics Program
Tuesday, September 11, 2012
Public hearing scheduled for:
Tuesday, Sept. 25, from 1:30 - 4:00 p.m.
William G. Ross Jr. Environmental Conference Center
121 West Jones St.
Raleigh, NC 27601
this year, the NC General Assembly ordered a review of the state Air Toxics Program, a piece of legislation designed to bridge the gaps between federal guidelines for toxic industrial emissions and the body of medical literature which demonstrates significant risks to human health at federally permitted levels. In two weeks, our elected officials will consider easing the "regulatory burden" on industry by rolling back portions of this critical program. Unfortunately,
it is a burden which will then fall on the state's citizenry in the form of
higher health care bills, damage to our fishing industry, and jobs lost when
tourists decide to spend their vacation time in places that place a higher
premium on breathing clean air, not to mention our local environment and quality
On the regulatory chopping block are "health-based limits for about
100 compounds, 21 of which are not regulated under the federal program
," according to the agency's press release
. States are required to, at a minimum, abide by federal standards for industrial emissions, but as we know all too well in New Hanover County (ranked by the US EPA as having the 2nd-highest levels of toxic emissions in the state), these standards are often insufficient to protect public health.
All of us need to work to
convince our state legislators that we cannot afford to move backwards on laws
designed to protect the health of our community. Letting industry get
away with minimal pollution controls directly impacts not only our health and
our children's health, but the health of our economy as well. Can North
Carolina continue to be a top vacation destination with a reputation as a
pollution haven? Let's not find out!