Pennsylvania faces serious air quality challenges with impacts on public health and our environment. Bad air quality hurts and kills more people than homicide and drunk driving combined, and one million Pennsylvanians with diseases such as asthma and bronchitis are at special risk from the effects of air pollution.
Every summer smog season, smog sends 10,000 Pennsylvanians to hospital emergency rooms, and Pennsylvanians suffer 370,000 smog-related asthma attacks. Smog-forming pollutants come from power plants, industry, cars and trucks, and a variety of small sources.
About half of Pennsylvania's electricity generation comes from burning coal, which helps cause a variety of health and environmental problems. A recent study showed that small particles of soot from power plants are responsible for 2,200 premature deaths in Pennsylvania. Due largely to emissions from power plants in Pennsylvania and upwind states, our rain is among the most acidic in the nation. And our high mercury emissions are partly responsible for a statewide advisory to limit consumption of fish caught in Pennsylvania waters to no more than one meal per week.
Cars and trucks
Pennsylvania's 10 million vehicles, including high-polluting "blue smokers," contribute to smog, trigger asthma attacks, and help cause other health problems.
Around the state, Pennsylvanians suffer bad air quality and health risks from nearby polluters, and face proposals for new plants in their neighborhoods.
PennFuture is taking action to clean up Pennsylvania's air.
- We won a lawsuit in federal court to clean up Pennsylvania's cars and trucks and reduce smog.
- We pushed for rules that will reduce nitrogen oxide pollution by 60 percent from Pennsylvania s biggest polluters and cut emissions of smog-forming volatile organic compounds.
- We have worked with neighbors around the state to cut air pollution from existing sources and make sure that pollution from new sources is the minimum allowed under the law.
- We have testified before state and federal agencies in support of air pollution cuts, including testimony before the United States EPA that called for sharp cuts in mercury emissions.
- We work with DEP on solutions to sulfur dioxide and mercury pollution to reduce acid rain and protect the public health.
Please join us -- so all Pennsylvanians can breathe easily.
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