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League of Women Voters - Lake Forest/Lake Bluff: Make the Clean Air Promise

Clean air is a public health issue.

By League of Women Voters - Lake Forest/Lake Bluff

Every summer, dirty air alerts arrive with the heat. Children can't play outside. The elderly and other sensitive groups (those with respiratory or pulmonary disorders) suffer elevated heath risks.

Every year, coal-fired power plants, oil refineries, and other big polluters, numerous in the Chicago region, dump millions of tons of toxic and harmful pollutants into the air. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) was preparing to update clean air standards for ozone and fine particulate matter and reduce this unhealthy pollution.

Unfortunately, President Obama gave in to pressure from officials trying to undermine these efforts.

Clean air standards work. According to the EPA, last year the Clean Air Act saved 160,000 lives, and multiple studies have demonstrated that efforts to clean up the air not only protect our health, but also provide a significant economic benefit to the country.

The public wants clean air and wants to be assured that health is a priority for the nation's decision makers. The League of Women Voters is asking Americans from all walks of life, elected officials, and community and business leaders around the country and here in Lake Forest/Lake Bluff to join us in making a simple promise - the Clean Air Promise.

We call on Illinois' elected representatives to make this promise to protect our children and families from harmful air pollution. Learn more about the Clean Air Promise at www.peoplenotpolluters.org.

In 1970, Congress passed the Clean Air Act to protect us from pollutants like smog, soot and mercury. For too long, the debate about pollution has focused on “over-regulation” and featured false assertions that environmental protections hurt our economy. Clean air is an issue of public health.

The League was one of the first organizations to speak out for the Clean Air Act and the Environmental Protection Agency.

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The League of Women Voters, a nonpartisan political organization, encourages informed and active participation in government, works to increase understanding of major public policy issues, and influences public policy through education and advocacy. For information or to join League of Women Voters- Lake Forest/Lake Bluff Area, visit the website www.lwv-lflb.org. For more information about work for Clean Air, go to www.lwv.org.

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