By Andrew Restuccia - 03/01/11 05:14 PM EST
The report bolsters arguments by environmentalists and public health officials that preserving the Clean Air Act is essential for protecting public health. But the report does not take into account greenhouse gas emissions, as EPA is just beginning the process of regulating them under the Clean Air Act.
The release of the report came just hours before the House Energy and Commerce Committee was to hold a hearing on EPA’s efforts to regulate greenhouse gas emissions and their effect on American jobs.
In 2020, the 1990 Clean Air Act amendments will prevent 200,000 heart attacks, 17 million lost workdays and 2.4 million asthma attacks, the report says. In 2010, the report estimates that the law prevented 160,000 premature deaths, 130,000 heart attacks, 13 million lost workdays and 1.7 million asthma attacks.
Environmentalists and clean-air groups quickly praised the report Tuesday. “EPA’s report highlights what people in the public health community have been saying for years: the Clean Air Act saves lives, and is one of the greatest tools we have to cost-effectively protect Americans’ health and our environment,” said Shelley Vinyard, toxics advocate for Environment America.