Target: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Gina McCarthy
Goal: Decline Maine’s request to relax anti-smog regulations
A recent request was made by the LePage administration of Maine to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to relax anti-smog regulations for the state. It claimed that air quality was no longer a problem as harmful emissions have been cut in half in the past 30 years and that removing anti-smog regulations would boost the economy.
Maine has long been burdened with air quality issues and was placed in an Ozone Transport Region in 1990, meaning that industries in Maine that contribute to smog production are mandated by law to purchase credits from other businesses within the region. This is intended to control levels of air pollution within the region, and Maine is arguing that without having these regulations and having to purchase credits, businesses can save money and therefore help the economy grow.
However, relaxing limits for nitrogen oxides and volatile organic compounds could really have a toll on the health of Maine residents. These harmful emissions have been linked to irritations to the eyes, nose, and throat, as well as impaired lung function and respiratory infections. Some organic compounds are known to cause cancer in animals and may also cause cancer in humans. Benefits that the relaxed regulations brought to the economy may be negated by the health problems that arise in the state.
In addition, allowing Maine to opt out of anti-smog regulations affects not only itself but the many states in the same region. Pollution affects everyone and it is not fair for other states to suffer for what one state has done.
Please sign this petition to urge the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to decline Maine’s request to relax air pollution regulations.
Dear Ms. McCarthy,
I have recently heard of Maine’s request to relax anti-smog regulations for the state and believe that their request should be declined. Although the LePage administration claims that it would benefit their economy for their smog-producing facilities to opt out of purchasing credits from regional businesses, I believe that relaxing regulations would bring adverse health effects to the community.
Although Maine believes that its air quality is fine and will continue to stay that way, once regulations are relaxed there is no way to prevent facilities from producing nitrogen oxide and volatile organic compounds via emissions. These emissions are linked to respiratory irritation and diseases and cancer, and its effects should not be taken lightly.
In addition, other states in the region may also suffer from increased air pollution that they had no say in creating.
I urge you to decline Maine’s request for relaxing anti-smog regulations in the interest of the health of northeastern state residents.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: National Park Service via Wikimedia Commons