New initiative will improve health conditions by holding power plants accountable
(Baltimore, MD) – Last week the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) finalized rules that will cap toxic emissions from power plants. The Cross-State Air Pollution Rule is designed to limit air pollution that blows across state lines. On Tuesday the NAACP put out a statement lauding the new rule:
“The Cross-State Air Pollution Rule will improve health conditions and save thousands of lives, while holding power plants accountable to their neighbors in nearby states,” stated NAACP Director of Climate Justice Programs Jacqueline Patterson. “Before this rule, these neighbors had no recourse against out-of-state pollution, and suffered real health consequences. Similarly, many low-income communities and communities of color are disproportionately affected by pollution from nearby coal plants, even while these groups use far less energy than the national average. We will continue to raise awareness of this inequity and urge coal plants to become better neighbors.”
In August the NAACP Climate Justice Department will release a national report titled “Coal Blooded: Putting Profits Before People”, which ranks the nation’s 431 coal-fired power plants on how they affect low-income communities and communities of color. The department is in the middle of a multi-state teach-in series in communities with the worst-ranked plants.
“Climate justice is firmly embedded within the tradition of civil rights activism,” Patterson added. “The NAACP has always stood up for the rights of people of color and all others to work, learn, and be treated fairly. Now we are standing up for the right of all people to breathe freely.”
State-specific “Coal Blooded” reports can be viewed at http://www.naacp.org/pages/coal-blooded1.