Addressing Health Impacts of Air Pollution

Is there a role for Congress to play in the air pollution fight?

Professor Kevin Cromar, director of the Marron Institute's Air Quality Program, was invited to give a congressional briefing in Washington DC on the health impacts of air pollution in the US. The briefing was hosted by Congressman Ben McAdams from Utah, and attended by approximately 40 congressional staffers. While most of the authority to address air quality rests with the US EPA, Cromar helped identify ways in which congress can assist states with mitigation efforts, including recalculating how Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality (CMAQ) funds are allocated to better reflect the magnitude of health impacts from ambient air pollution in each state. Cromar also emphasized that "rolling back cost-effective federal regulations puts an even greater burden on states in trying to improve air quality. Due to jurisdictional issues, states are left with a much smaller menu of [often more costly] options to make up forfeited air quality gains."

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