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Votes

Letter: Risk to Public Health

— Just before the government shutdown, the EPA announced proposed limits on carbon pollution from newly built power plants — a major breakthrough for our public health, the fight against global warming, and a clean energy future. However, the ongoing impasse in Congress has severely hampered progress on the issue, leaving Americans more vulnerable to the devastating effects of global warming and unmonitored pollution from dirty power plants.

Virginians are especially susceptible to the environmental losses of the government shutdown. With most of the EPA employees furloughed, air and water quality inspections have ground to a halt, even as the state’s 19 coal-fired power plants spew greenhouse gases, choke our cities with smog, and release mercury, arsenic, and other toxic pollutants into our waterways and wildlife.

Members of Congress must get back to working on smart solutions to address climate change and environmental pollution, like supporting the President’s Climate Action Plan and allowing the EPA to protect our communities. Every day that passes, the risks and impacts to public health and our environment will continue to grow worse.

Bryan Currinder,

Arlington