WE ACT Travels to West Virginia to Defend Clean Power Plan

November 29, 2017
Contact: Athena Motavvef, 202-548-4585, athena@weact.org

Washington, DC — Yesterday groups across the United States met in Charleston, West Virginia where the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) held their only scheduled hearing on the proposed Clean Power Plan (CPP) repeal. Administrator Scott Pruitt announced his intentions to repeal the Clean Power Plan in early October this year, as a result of EPA’s reinterpretation of Section 111(d) of the Clean Air Act. After an internal review, the EPA determined the rule exceeded the Agency’s statutory authority and provided unnecessary regulatory burdens.

WE ACT for Environmental Justice Federal Policy Director, Dr. Adrienne Hollis, was among those in attendance to testify in support of the Clean Power Plan.

In her testimony, Dr. Hollis emphasized that the Clean Power Plan is indeed consistent with the Clean Air Act which requires the EPA to regulate air and water in order to protect human health and the environment. As a result, a repeal of the Clean Power Plan would be in violation of the law.

Dr. Hollis also pointed attention to the public health implications of repealing the Clean Power Plan:

“Original estimates also found that the CPP could prevent 90,000 asthma attacks and 300,000 missed work and school days, all by 2030, providing total health and climate benefits of up to $54 billion.  A CPP rollback means more sick children, more costly hospital visits and thousands of preventable premature deaths, and more intense and destructive severe weather events.”

Dr. Hollis acknowledged the important role that coal and coal mining have provided good jobs for decades.  At the same time,  Dr. Hollis stressed that coal jobs, which are already in decline, have led to adverse health effects, including black lung and both air and water pollution across the United States. As a result, there is a need to transition to cleaner energy jobs. She noted, “as we move to cleaner and healthier sources of energy, we must protect the livelihoods of the workers and communities who have powered our country for over a century.”

Despite more than 8 million comments supporting the Clean Power Plan, only one public hearing was scheduled regarding the Clean Power Plan roll-back proposal. The hearing was located in an area that was difficult for the public to access, particularly from environmental justice communities that do not have the time or funds to travel.  Dr. Hollis expressed during her testimony that “EPA has robbed the public of its RIGHT to participate in regulatory decisions.”

In her conclusion, Dr. Hollis demanded EPA to put the health of communities first by scheduling more opportunities for public participation, developing a clean energy plan that is no less strict than the current plan, and identifying a clean transition for coal communities.

The Clean Power Plan public hearings will continue today in West Virginia. The EPA may decide to provide more hearings at a later date. The public comment period ends January 16, 2018.

To view Dr. Adrienne Hollis’ full testimony, click here.


WE ACT for Environmental Justice is a Northern Manhattan membership-based organization whose mission is to build healthy communities by ensuring that people of color and/or low income residents participate meaningfully in the creation of sound and fair environmental health and protection policies and practices. WE ACT has offices in Harlem, NYC and Washington, DC. Visit us at www.weact.org and follow us on Twitter @weact4ej

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