On October 17th, the Alliance of Nurses for Healthy Environments and nurses from Wisconsin and Missouri visited Capitol Hill to educate members of Congress on the importance of environmental protections to human health. The nurses shared with their representatives how human health is impacted in Missouri and Wisconsin when environmental protections are inadequate.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) was created to protect American families from toxic, dangerous pollution in the air we breathe and the water we drink. EPA has restored cleaner air and water for millions of Americans, bringing our country back from the brink of far-reaching – and dangerous – industrial pollution. All Americans have benefited profoundly from the safeguards EPA has put in place.
However, under the Trump Administration, regulatory roll backs such as repealing the Clean Water Rule and revising clean cars rules threatens to reverse the progress made. Restricting EPA’s ability to set health protective regulations puts children and communities at serious risk, and will have lasting public health and environmental consequences for future generations.
The Wisconsin and Missouri shared stories about how extreme heat and weather events from climate change are affecting the patients and communities they care for and how EPA regulations such as the Clean Power Plan and the clean cars rules are critical to protecting against the health impacts of climate change. The nurses also emphasized the need for strong water protections such as those under the Clean Water Rule to protect the drinking water sources of state residents.
To show the wide opposition from nurses around environmental roll backs, members of Congress were provided with a copy of the clean cars letter with signers from their state. Over 600 nurses from all 50 states and DC., signed on to the letter opposing the efforts to weaken the clean cars rules, with almost 100 of those signers from Missouri and Wisconsin. These comments were submitted by the Alliance of Nurses for Healthy Environments to the EPA during the open public comment period.
The period to submit public comments to the EPA on the clean cars rules and on the replacement plan for the Clean Power Plan are now closed, but we encourage nurses to sign-up for the ANHE newsletter and to check back for the latest updates on how nurses can take action to oppose EPA roll backs. Through advocacy for health and environmental protections nurses can make a difference!