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October 3, 2014 Published in EcoNews, Health & Fitness

New Study Shows Strong Carbon Limits Would Save Lives In Virginia

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americanlungassnStrong limits on carbon pollution from existing power plants would improve air quality and prevent an estimated 120 premature deaths in Virginia every year, as well as provide other significant benefits to human health, according to a new, independent report released today from Harvard, Syracuse, and Boston Universities. The new report, Co-benefits of Carbon Standards: Air Pollution Changes under Different 111d Options for Existing Power Plants, examines alternative approaches for reducing carbon pollution.

In response, Dennis Alexander, Executive Director of the American Lung Association in Virginia, issued the following statement:

“Residents of Virginia, along with millions of Americans, are at risk from air pollution from power plants that causes life-threatening harm to human health.

“This important new study shows that adopting strong carbon pollution limits for existing power plants will not only reduce carbon emissions that are fueling climate change, but will also have an immediate, positive impact on public health, by preventing an estimated 120 premature deaths in Virginia each year, as well as asthma attacks, heart attacks, and other illnesses linked to air pollution, starting in 2020. Virginia is among the states with the greatest health co-benefits from a strong carbon standard.

“Children, the elderly and people living with respiratory and cardiovascular disease in Virginia stand to gain the most from the added pollution reduction because they are most vulnerable to the dangers of breathing in air pollution.

“The American Lung Association in Virginia urges the EPA to adopt a strong Clean Power Plan to reduce carbon pollution from power plants that maximizes health benefits, no later June 2015. Anything less shortchanges our future, our children and our health.”

The first-of-its-kind study compares “business as usual” conditions with three alternatives for limiting carbon from power plants. Results show that a strong, enforceable and flexible approach to reducing carbon pollution would reduce emissions of other harmful pollutants of sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxides by about 775,000 tons each year nationwide. As a result of lower emissions, all of the lower 48 U.S. states would experience cleaner air. For more information, the full report summarizing the results of the study, including Virginia-specific findings, is available online.


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