Last week marked an important victory for Hilton Kelly (2011) and the fight for clean air and pollution control. On Thursday, July 7, the EPA announced new regulations known as the Cross-State Air Pollution Rule that will force hundreds of power plants to reduce harmful emissions known to cause illnesses in downwind communities. Hilton Kelly had this to say about the new regulations:
“…I think it’s a great ruling and long overdue. Emissions including hydrogen sulfide are a leading factor of ill health in our communities. I work closely with Kelly Haragan of the Environmental Law Clinic at the University of Texas and Eric Schaeffer at the Environmental Integrity Project — and we have petitioned the EPA to define hydrogen sulfide as a toxic chemical—and we have been in conversation with EPA around that recommendation. It’s my sense that our talks with the EPA had an impact on this new rule.”
In New York Times article “Power Plant Emission Rules Toughened by EPA,” the EPA administrator Lisa Jackson reflected her thoughts:
“No community should have to bear the burden of another community’s polluters, or be powerless to prevent air pollution that leads to asthma, heart attacks and other harmful illnesses,” Ms. Jackson said. “This is a long-overdue step to protect the air we breathe.”
The Cross-State Air Pollution Rule is a significant step toward better pollution control, a step that may not have been taken without the tireless work of activists like Hilton Kelly. Keep up the good work Hilton!