Outside Sen. Bob Casey’s office in Pittsburgh on November 2, community leaders called for an end to Congressional actions to gut environmental safeguards. The appeal to Sen. Casey comes after the House passed the Transparency in Regulatory Analysis of Impacts on the Nation (TRAIN) Act. That bill, supported by all local Congressmen except Mike Doyle, would prevent EPA from going forward with Mercury and Air Toxics standards for power plants and the Cross-State Air Pollution Rule to cut smog and soot pollution from power plants by indefinitely delaying these standards. Other attempts have been made to defund the EPA and reduce its authority to protect public health.
At the recent rally, Sierra Club staffer Randy Francisco said “Many of our representatives voted in favor of this (TRAIN) bill and against protecting our families from dangerous and deadly pollution. We need to tell our Congressmen, especially Jason Altmire, Tim Murphy and Mark Critz, that American families want clean air and water that is safe to drink.”
“Pittsburgh needs strong federal standards to continue our progress toward a more vital economy,” said Pittsburgh City Councilman Bill Peduto, “without continuing the clean up of our air and water it will be nearly impossible to attract new companies to our region.”
Tom Hoffman of Clean Water Action also called attention to local efforts to clean up our air through the Allegheny Health Department’s Air Toxics Guidelines. He noted that “When the current rules were written, Reagan was in the White House and the space shuttle program was brand new. Both of those are gone but we still have the same outdated rules. High tech and new age companies are not going to want to come here with the reputation we have as a major pollution region.”