Clean Air/Clean Water
I believe that all people have the right to breathe clean air and to drink clean water. As a member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, I am committed to protecting and building on the Clean Air Act and Clean Water Act to reduce pollution, improve public health, and protect our natural resources from degradation.
I am a longtime defender of the Great Lakes, which represent 20 percent of the world’s fresh surface water. I have lived by Lake Michigan my entire life and am regularly engaged with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the Army Corps of Engineers, and local authorities to protect it from pollution, invasive species, and those who would consider drilling in the Lakes for oil. We must act aggressively to protect finite water resources for this and future generations.
I have also worked hard to reduce mercury use and emissions, which are especially harmful to infants and can undermine a developing child’s ability to walk, take, read, write and comprehend. I introduced legislation to reduce mercury emissions and am a strong supporter of new EPA standards to reduce mercury pollution. Those new standards will prevent up to 570 premature deaths in Illinois along, while creating up to $4.7 billion in health benefits in 2016.
By reducing pollution, the Clean Air Act will help us address childhood asthma and improve public health. It is also good for our economy, with $30 in measurable health and economic benefits for every $1 spent to reduce pollution by complying with EPA standards.
I will continue to work to improve our air, water and other natural resources and against actions to weaken environmental protection.
More on Clean Air/Clean Water
Today, Rep. Schakowsky and 41 other members of Congress – including Reps. Henry Waxman and John Dingell – sent a letter to EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy urging a final rule on the agency’s Tier 3 Vehicle Emission and Fuel Standards program. The rule would reduce tailpipe and evaporative emissions from passenger cars, light-duty trucks, medium-duty passenger vehicles, and some heavy-duty vehicles. The proposed rule, which was published last May, would dramatically improve public health and the environment. Schakowsky made the following statement about the letter:
Washington, D.C. (September 7, 2012) — Rep. Jan Schakowsky released the following statement today in recognition of the Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement, which was amended for the first time since 1987: