APHA and American Lung Association Respond to West Virginia v. EPA Decision

Date: Jun 30 2022

Contact: Media Relations, 202-777-3913  

In response to the announcement of the U.S. Supreme Court decision in West Virginia v. EPA, the American Lung Association and American Public Health Association issued the following joint statement: 

“Climate change is a health emergency and fossil fuel-fired power plants are driving climate change. Power plants pollute the air we breathe, emit toxics including mercury, arsenic and dioxin and cause health harms nationwide. 

“The Clean Air Act gives EPA the authority and responsibility of addressing air pollution that threatens public health and welfare. This includes the obligation to regulate the greenhouse gases from power plants and other sources that drive climate change. 

“Today’s decision in West Virginia v. EPA is disappointing, but the clear fact remains that robust actions are needed to protect public health from climate change. 

“While today’s decision narrows EPA’s pathway to address greenhouse gas emissions from the power sector, we call on the agency to quickly write a new rule that maximizes emissions reductions. The nation cannot afford further delays to address the climate crisis. 

“We also call on EPA to move forward with the urgent set of regulations under consideration that are not affected by today’s decision. EPA has clear authority to finalize much-needed updates to national air pollution standards and limits on polluting sources, including limits on emissions from the power sector. 

“We reiterate our call on Congress to immediately pass much-needed climate investments. Spurring a nationwide transition to clean, non-combustion electricity, zero-emission vehicles and environmental justice is more critical than ever. 

“This consolidated case is an appeal of a case brought by the American Lung Association and the American Public Health Association, represented by Clean Air Task Force. We filed suit to ensure that EPA followed the Clean Air Act’s requirements to protect public health from air pollution, including climate change.  

“Despite today’s decision, the urgency of climate action is greater than ever, as are the immediate health harms to people nationwide. Our organizations and the broader health community stand committed to supporting strong policies to address the climate crisis at the federal, state and local levels.” 

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About the American Lung Association
The American Lung Association is the leading organization working to save lives by improving lung health and preventing lung disease through education, advocacy and research. The work of the American Lung Association is focused on four strategic imperatives: to defeat lung cancer; to champion clean air for all; to improve the quality of life for those with lung disease and their families; and to create a tobacco-free future. For more information about the American Lung Association, which has a 4-star rating from Charity Navigator and is a Gold-Level GuideStar Member, or to support the work it does, call 1-800-LUNGUSA (1-800-586-4872) or visit: Lung.org.

About the American Public Health Association
The American Public Health Association champions the health of all people and all communities. We are the only organization that combines a 150-year perspective, a broad-based member community and the ability to influence federal policy to improve the public’s health. Learn more at 
www.apha.org.