Members of the Sierra Club in Oklahoma are applauding the proposed new ozone standards coming from the Environmental Protection Agency.
One of them is Barbara VanHanken, chair of the Oklahoma Chapter of the Club.
“As an asthmatic and resident of Tulsa, I will be able to breathe easier knowing that the Environmental Protection Agency is stepping up to keep our air clean,” said VanHanken in a statement issued after the EPA’s announcement. “From damaged crops to missed school and work days, there is not one resident in Oklahoma not affected by smog pollution.”
She said the updated smog standards will save lives, reduce hospitalizations and reduce the number of asthma attacks by children. But VanHanken was also pointed in directing her criticism of what she called polluters.
“The EPA has raised the mantle of putting people before Oklahoma’s biggest polluters, holding OG&E and others accountable for what they expose our commmunities to,” charged the Sierra Club official. She said the EPA move to lower the current smog pollution standard from 75 parts per billion to between 65 and 70 parts per billion is a tremendous step in putting the health of children above polluters.
“We hope the EPA takes another one and places the final standard at 60 ppb come October of 2015. Big polluters have already started to mobilize a response and their political allies have vowed to prevent these standards from being implemented.”
VanHanken said state leaders need to stand up for Oklahoma families by coming out in support of the EPA’s smog standards and voting against any attempt to block them.