EPA: Stop Ignoring Potentially Lethal Air Pollution

Target: Cami Grandinetti, Manager for Remedial Cleanup, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

Goal: Perform air quality testing in areas of Washington State that may be exposed to high levels of toxic cadmium, lead and other cancer-causing substances.

Residents living in the Washington town of Northport could be breathing in air contaminated by pollutants, including cancer-causing cadmium, arsenic and other heavy metals, from one of the world’s largest lead and zinc refineries, located just across the border in Canada. Yet because the EPA refuses to test for these substances, the true scope of this threat remains unknown. Protecting American citizens against the harmful effects of pollution is exactly what  this government agency was established to do, and it is time that officials start doing their job.

While the cost of air monitoring in the area for two years is estimated to be roughly $300,000, this pales in comparison to the amount of money that EPA administrator Scott Pruitt has allegedly spent on his own personal comfort, including reportedly spending up to $400,000 on first-class flights and a private soundproof phone booth in his office. The state of Washington should not have to struggle to fund its own testing when such wasteful spending is occurring at the federal level.

American citizens deserve to know about any potential health threats they may be facing from the environment in which they live. Sign the petition below to demand that air monitors be installed along the U.S.-Canadian border in Washington.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Manager Grandinetti,

Recent reports from Washington State’s Department of Ecology have shown the possibility that harmful levels of cadmium, arsenic and other known carcinogens from the Cominco lead smelter in British Columbia could be affecting air quality in the northern part of the state. Despite this fact, the EPA has not done any air quality monitoring in Washington since 2009, and has declined to begin testing in light of this recent evidence.

Heavy metals, such as those suspected of being present in the emissions from the Cominco smelter, could prove life-threatening with long-term exposure, including greatly increasing the chances of developing certain kinds of cancer. Washington State residents deserve to know what public health risk exists, if any, as a result of this exposure. That is why we demand that you begin necessary air quality testing on the U.S.-Canadian border immediately.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: under_volcano