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Illinois Democrats Slam EPA Decision on Air Quality Standards

Apr 15, 2020
Press Release

Today, Representatives Mike Quigley (IL-05), Jan Schakowsky (IL-09), Bobby L. Rush (IL-01), Danny K. Davis (IL-07), Robin Kelly (IL-02), Raja Krishnamoorthi (IL-08), Sean Casten (IL-06), and Jesús G. "Chuy" García (IL-04) released the following statement in response to the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) announcement that it will not strengthen the particulate matter national air quality standard:

“The science is clear: fine particle pollution is a public health hazard which disproportionately impacts Black and low-income communities that are already bearing the brunt of the coronavirus pandemic in Chicago and across our nation. This pollution is linked to greater rates of asthma, cardiovascular issues, and lung cancer—all of which place individuals at increased risk of morbidity and mortality from COVID-19. EPA's own research shows that even prior to COVID-19, our current air quality standards resulted in tens of thousands of premature deaths annually. But in the midst of a pandemic caused by a virus that poses greater risks to those with respiratory diseases, Administrator Wheeler's decision is particularly callous. It will cost lives and place the health of Black and low-income communities at increased risk. Between today’s ruling and last month’s roll back of clean car standards, EPA has shown a disturbing lack of concern for our most vulnerable communities and a complete disregard of fulfilling its mission to protect human health and the environment.”