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Votes

Letter: Failing Grades on Air Pollution

To the Editor:

Republican members of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works put corporate polluters ahead of our health by boycotting the nomination of Gina McCarthy to head the Environmental Protection Agency. Each day this vote is delayed, health risks increase for millions of Virginians.

According to the American Lung Association's State of the Air report, there are millions of Virginians at extra risk of health damage from air pollution because of their age, health or socioeconomic position. Northern Virginia was ranked as the ninth worst ozone pollution of any metro city area in the country, with Arlington, Alexandria, Fairfax, Loudoun and Stafford counties all receiving failing grades.

With her experience and qualifications, Senate Republicans should not deny the panel a quorum so the committee can send the pragmatic and bipartisan Ms. McCarthy to the Senate floor for a swift confirmation. I urge our U.S. Senators Warner and Kaine to support Ms. McCarthy’s nomination, so she can get to work continuing EPA’s strong record of tackling our most urgent environmental and public health challenges.

Sarah E. Frost

Environment Virginia

The writer is the assistant national field director for the Virginia-wide organization Environment America.