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EPA in PA for Hearings on Clean Power Plan


Monday, July 28, 2014   

PITTSBURGH - Hearings in Pittsburgh are coming up Thursday and Friday about the Environmental Protection Agency's "Clean Power Plan," aimed at reducing carbon emissions from power plants by 30 percent from their 2005 levels.

Dr. Alan Peterson, emeritus director of community and environmental medicine at Lancaster General Health, cited a clear need to take a more aggressive approach to curb carbon pollution, which is a major contributor to climate change.

"Climate change is real and it's caused mainly by humans," he said. "Climate change is bad for each and every one of us. We need to start taking action now to protect the health, especially of our most vulnerable members, such as infants, seniors, those with chronic diseases."

Carol Browner, former EPA administrator, said the goal of the hearings is to engage with citizens, companies and political leaders to find out what the best ways are to reduce carbon pollution and its related hazards.

"What are the tools we can use? Energy efficiency, renewables, clean energy - and so, the good news is that EPA wants to hear from people about how best to go ahead and actually do the work of reducing dangerous pollution," Browner said.

To be effective, Peterson said, curbing carbon pollution and climate change has to be done on multiple levels - from personal choices to changes in corporate culture.

"We need to decrease the carbon footprint that we have ourselves," he said. "So, we need to try to promote renewable solar and wind - not only to create jobs, but to protect our air, water and climate. "

Peterson said data shows that from 1970 to 2012 in Pennsylvania, temperatures increased by almost one degree per decade. He said that kind of temperature rise can cause a variety of problems, from increased health concerns to drops in agricultural production.

In addition to Pittsburgh, the EPA is holding hearings in Atlanta, Denver and Washington, D-C.

The EPA hearing schedule and the Clean Power Plan proposal are online.

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