The Attorneys General of Connecticut, New York and seven other states are asking the Obama administration to support new standards for a type of air pollutant called fine particulate matter that can contribute to respiratory diseases. The states filed a federal lawsuit in February in an effort to compel the EPA to issue standards for the pollution, which can come from power plants, motor vehicles, industrial facilities and residential heating. The court ruled in their favor and the attorneys general negotiated a settlement with the EPA for stricter standards. But Connecticut Attorney General George Jepsen explains the White House Office of Management and Budget needs to approve the settlement for it to go into effect. Jepsen and the other attorneys general sent a letter to that office, urging them to take that step.
"This is one more step in that battle," said Jepsen. "It's a significant step because fine particulates can have a very serious impact on asthma rates, kids especially, and it also can have a significant impact on health consequences for senior citizens who might have respiratory issues. So we're going to continue to fight these battles because the health or our citizens is at risk."
A report released this week
by the Connecticut Department of Public Health says in 2010, 9.2% of adults and 11.3% of children had asthma. The other states involved in the lawsuit and settlement are Delaware, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Mexico, Rhode Island, Vermont and Washington.