Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Gina McCarthy on Monday defended the administration’s record on environmental justice, saying that new vehicle-emission limits will raise the standard of living for residents of heavily trafficked areas.
“Millions of Americans still suffer from the health impacts of poor air quality, especially those in urban areas along high-traffic corridors,” McCarthy said during a press call to announce the agency’s newly finalized “Tier 3” standards. The rulemaking aims to cut back on the amount of sulfur blended with gasoline and set air-pollution limits for tailpipe emissions from cars and trucks starting in 2017.
“By reducing these pollutants we’re really addressing an environmental-justice issue,” McCarthy said. “Communities that live near major roadways often live, work, and play right along that roadway, and they’re disproportionately harmed by air pollution.”
McCarthy’s mention of environmental justice arrives on the heels of comments from Democrats that the White House has not done enough to address the impact of climate change on low-income and minority communities.
Reps. Keith Ellison, D-Minn., and Raul Grijalva, D-Ariz., penned a letter last week to the administration asking for increased action on environmental justice under the heading of the president’s climate action plan.
“Climate change compounds existing inequities,” the Democrats write in the letter. “Droughts, floods, wildfires, and extreme weather events increase the vulnerability of people living in areas with limited climate resiliency — communities with poor air quality, unsafe housing, and insufficient resources to plan, prepare and recover from extreme weather.”
The letter has not yet been sent. Its authors are still collecting signatures.
What We're Following See More »
The Senate on Sunday failed to reach agreement on a plan to fund the government through Feb. 8, postponing the vote until noon on Monday. "While lawmakers angled to score political points or shift blame, most agencies planned Monday to begin executing orderly shutdown procedures, per guidance from Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney."
"The Senate was expected to be back in session at noon, while House lawmakers were told to return to work for a 9 a.m. session. Mr. Trump on Friday had canceled plans to travel to his private resort on Palm Beach, Fla., where a celebration had been planned for Saturday to celebrate the anniversary of his first year in office."
"A stopgap spending bill stalled in the Senate Friday night, leading to a government shutdown for the first time since 2013. The continuing resolution funding agencies expired at midnight, and lawmakers were unable to spell out any path forward to keep government open. The Senate on Friday night failed to reach cloture on a four-week spending bill the House had already approved."