FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 11, 2018
Cara Cook, Climate Change Program Coordinator, ANHE
Washington, D.C. (September 11, 2018)— Today the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced their proposal to roll back the New Source Performance Standards that reduce methane and volatile organic compound pollution from the oil and gas sector. In response to this announcement the Alliance of Nurses for Healthy Environments’ Executive Director, Katie Huffling, MS, RN, CNM issued the following statement:
“Climate change is one of the most serious public health threats we face today. To limit climate impacts and protect the health of our children, our communities, and the public, the United States must significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions such as methane. Americans cannot afford any delay or repeal of methane pollution safeguards.
As well as climate impacts, methane is a key component in the formation of ground level ozone. Every year, 500,000 days of school are missed by children due to the health impacts of ozone smog linked to oil and gas pollution. Over 9 million Americans face greater risk of life-threatening cancer because they live in areas directly impacted by the emissions of nearby oil and gas sites.
Failure to limit methane emissions will exacerbate climate change, and further contribute to public health threats such as increases in vector-borne illnesses, more frequent droughts and other threats to water security, and more frequent extreme weather events, including more frequent and severe heat waves.
Methane pollution poses a serious and immediate risk to the health of Americans and should be addressed with seriousness and urgency. Proposing to rollback these standards goes against the EPA mission to protect public health and the environment, and the health of communities across the country could suffer because of it.”
The Alliance of Nurses for Healthy Environments is the only national nursing organization focused solely on the intersection of health and the environment. The mission of the Alliance is to promote healthy people and healthy environments by educating and leading the nursing profession, advancing research, incorporating evidence-based practice, and influencing policy.