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Former Administrator Lisa P. Jackson (This site is no longer updated.)

âwe can preserve our climate, protect our health and strengthen our economy all at the same time.
Pollutants like mercury, smog and soot are neurotoxins and killers. They cause developmental problems and asthma in kids and heart attacks and premature deaths in vulnerable adults.
When you get a glass of water from the faucet, EPA makes sure that it is clean and healthy.
Environmental regulations have sparked cutting-edge innovations; they have provided the American people with some $22 trillion in health benefits; and by cleaning up the air, water and land, we have given our communities the foundations they need for success.
â we've learned that the engines of opportunity and prosperity in this country run better when they run clean.

Note: EPA no longer updates this information, but it may be useful as a reference or resource.

Posted on October 21, 2011

Too Dirty to Fail

In today’s LA Times, Administrator Jackson wrote about efforts in the House of Representatives to undermine critical health and environmental protections. In the op-ed “Too Dirty to Fail?” she says it is time once again for Americans to stand up for their right to clean air and clean water.

“Since the beginning of this year, Republicans in the House have averaged roughly a vote every day the chamber has been in session to undermine the Environmental Protection Agency and our nation’s environmental laws,” wrote Administrator Jackson.

In recent weeks,  House Republicans using the economy as cover have accelerated efforts to give big polluters a pass from complying with health protections and to expose our communities to dangerous pollution.  The “Too Dirty to Fail” strategy uses today’s economic challenges as an excuse for removing vital health protections and entering our nation into what President Obama calls “a race to the bottom” for the weakest environmental protections.

“How we respond to this assault on our environmental and public health protections will mean the difference between sickness and health — in some cases, life and death — for hundreds of thousands of citizens,” the Administrator wrote in the piece.

Read Administrator Jackson’s op-ed “Too Dirty to fail?”

Note: EPA no longer updates this information, but it may be useful as a reference or resource.

Posted on October 5, 2011

The Facts About the Cross State Air Pollution Rule

By Seth Oster

If you read the Wall Street Journal on Wednesday morning, you may have seen a story about how the EPA, in the face of industry pressure, plans to “ease” its Cross State Air Pollution Rule.

The problem is, that report is completely wrong about what is happening with the rule.

The Clean Air Act is a remarkable public health protection law, and one of the reasons it has worked so well for four decades is that it’s flexible enough to incorporate new and updated data — provided to EPA by states and industry — as we work to implement standards like the Cross State Air Pollution Rule. That rule, which will yield massive public health benefits by ensuring Americans don’t have to breathe in air pollution emitted in other states, was finalized back in July.

Whenever the EPA develops rules and safeguards under the Clean Air Act, we collect data from states and industries so we know how much of a given pollutant facilities are emitting, and work to determine how much that pollution can be cost-effectively reduced.

In some cases we receive additional information even after a rule is finalized — sometimes it is correcting or updating information initially provided by states or companies. As always, EPA carefully reviews such data and, where appropriate, may make technical adjustments to the relevant standard.

Here’s the bottom line, and what the Wall Street Journal missed in their story: any changes to the Cross State standard under such a scenario would have no impact on the health benefits we expect this rule to achieve.

Breathe easy. The EPA is not “easing” the standards of the Cross State Air Pollution Rule. We are doing what we always do under the Clean Air Act: taking steps to gather the best data and information, and moving forward with a commonsense standard based on everything we know.

Seth Oster is the Associate Administrator for External Affairs and Environmental Education at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

Note: EPA no longer updates this information, but it may be useful as a reference or resource.

Posted on September 16, 2011

Celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month at EPA

This entry was previously posted on the official EPA blog Greenversations.

By Administrator Lisa P. Jackson

Hispanic Heritage Month is a time to reflect on the important role the environment plays in every community, and the important role every community should play in protecting our environment. The EPA has taken considerable steps to make sure all Americans have a voice in the conversation about the environmental and health issues facing them. Just this week we unveiled an environmental justice plan called EJ 2014, to outline our work in the years ahead. But our commitment to protecting the health of all Americans goes beyond the guidebook. The voices of Hispanic and other minority communities are part of every decision we make.

When we proposed the first-ever Mercury and Air Toxics Standards to cut harmful emissions from power plants, we were thinking about the nearly 2 million Hispanics across America who suffer from asthma. When we finalized the Cross-State Air Pollution Rule to cut pollution that can drift across state lines, we were thinking about the almost 30 million Latinos who live in places that don’t meet clean air standards. These two health protections are expected to save 50,000 lives and prevent more than 500,000 cases of asthma nationwide.

We were thinking about Hispanic communities who live along Los Angeles’ Compton Creek and New York’s Harlem River – near where I used to work as an EPA scientist – when we formed the Urban Waters Federal Partnership. And we thought about them again when we awarded $6.2 million to organizations across the country that train local residents and place them into good, green jobs cleaning up their communities.

We want to give Hispanics, and all Americans, the opportunity to transform these often over-polluted areas into healthier, stronger places to raise a family and grow a business – creating opportunities for more jobs in places where they can have the most impact.

When it comes to our future, we are also working on behalf of Hispanic communities. I think about the many young Latino students I met at St. Phillips College in San Antonio and the many others like them throughout the nation getting green jobs training. These students will be the engineers, the factory workers and the welders making our power plants cleaner with new pollution control technology. They’ll be the workers revitalizing our urban waters and communities. And they’ll be the ones making the solar panels and wind farms and biomass to power our nation into the future.

It is critical that Hispanic Americans have a voice in our conversation about the environmental and health issues that affect their communities. That is why this is the first in a series of posts celebrating Hispanic Heritage month. In the weeks ahead, we will hear the real stories of people at EPA and members of Hispanic communities who are lending their voices to the conversation on environmentalism. I am proud I’m proud to join them in celebrating another Hispanic Heritage month here at EPA, and in working to protect the health and environment for all Americans.

Note: EPA no longer updates this information, but it may be useful as a reference or resource.

Posted on September 9, 2011

The American Jobs Act

By Lisa P. Jackson

Last night President Obama asked Congress to join him in rebuilding the economy the American way — by supporting middle class families, creating good-paying jobs for American workers, and ensuring that the same set of rules apply to everyone from Main Street to Wall Street. In his address before a joint session of Congress, the President announced that he will send to the floor for immediate action the American Jobs Act, a collection of commonsense, bipartisan ideas to create new jobs now and help the families and small businesses still fighting their way out of the greatest economic downturn in generations.

The first steps are to help small businesses hire new workers and to strengthen family budgets. The president proposed a range of tax cuts that will help small businesses — America’s top job creators — expand, creating incentives for them to hire new employees or increase wages. At the same time, he made clear the importance of extending payroll tax cuts for American workers, who can use the extra money in their paychecks to support their families and strengthen our economy.

Next, the Jobs Act will take proactive steps to put teachers, first-responders, construction workers and veterans into jobs rebuilding our infrastructure and shoring up the foundations of our economy. These will help fill positions that are critical to our communities and our economic future. Workers will take on need- and impact-based projects repairing and constructing roads and bridges and refurbishing schools. And we will make sure the classrooms where tomorrow’s innovators and entrepreneurs are learning have the teachers they need — including up to 280,000 teachers laid off by state budget cuts.

President Barack Obama delivers an address on jobs and the economy, Chuck Kennedy, 9/8/11

President Barack Obama delivers an address on jobs and the economy. Credit: Chuck Kennedy, 9/8/11

President Obama has also proposed extending help to the long-term unemployed who have borne the brunt of our nation’s economic challenges. Not only will the American Jobs Act provide the support for people looking for work, but it will also make changes that better connect job-seekers with job openings.

Finally, the American Jobs Act includes provisions to ensure that this plan is paid for. It won’t add a dime to the deficit. By closing corporate tax loopholes and asking the wealthiest Americans to pay their fair share, we can strengthen the core components of our economy, the small businesses and middle class families that are essential to our nation’s success.

While outlining his jobs plan, the president also made clear that our economic success depends safeguarding American families, protecting their health and quality of life. “But what we can’t do — what I will not do — is let this economic crisis be used as an excuse to wipe out the basic protections that Americans have counted on for decades. I reject the idea that we need to ask people to choose between their jobs and their safety. I reject the argument that says for the economy to grow, we have to roll back protections that ban hidden fees by credit card companies, or rules that keep our kids from being exposed to mercury,” said the president. “We shouldn’t be in a race to the bottom, where we try to offer the cheapest labor and the worst pollution standards. We should be in a race to the top.”

Our nation has overcome the worst economic downturn in generations and put millions of Americans to work — but our challenges were not created overnight, and our work is not finished. By taking swift action on the proposals in the American Jobs Act, we can bolster the economic security of middle class families and give businesses large and small what they need to start investing in new jobs. It’s important that we act now, and take these steps to keep our recovery moving.

Agency Priorities

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