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New Jersey’s Air Breathe At Your Own Risk

Date : Wed, 25 Apr 2012 17:12:51 -0400

For Immediate Release
April 25, 2012 Contact Jeff Tittel, 609-558-9100

*New Jersey’s Air Breathe At Your Own Risk *

* * Days after Governor Christie has dropped out a lawsuit regarding strict ozone standards the American Lung Association released their State of the Air report for 2012 and New Jersey did not make the honor roll. Of the 16 counties in New Jersey 11 of them received an F grade and two others received a D regarding high ozone days. The report would have been worst, but since the last couple of years have been rainier than normal especially in the summer it made our air pollution less bad. We had an abnormal amount of rain fall during the summers from 2008-2010 reducing our air pollution while those states ahead of us like Texas had droughts, which is why their pollution got worse. We have also seen a decline in air pollution because of the recession with factors such as people driving less and factories closing. It was mentioned that Atlantic and Passaic counties air quality has improved, however it is more because of the weather and recession than it is about air pollution reductions within the state.

“New Jersey has some of the worst air quality in the nation with the main reason for improvement has been weather and the economy. When the economy improves and the weather gets hot we will be back to where we were with failing air quality,” *said Jeff Tittel, Director of the New Jersey Sierra Club.*

* * Ground level ozone is one of the worst air pollutants, which is why 12 other states now excluding New Jersey is petitioning the EPA to set the national ambient air quality standard to a level that will protect human health. The preliminary standard for ozone is 75 ppb, but under this case they want lower it to 60 to 70 ppb. After the results from the State of our Air it especially important that New Jersey join the other states to protect the health and lungs of New Jersey residents who are being affected from ozone in basically every county.

“New Jersey’s air quality directly affects our health with every summer children cannot play outdoors, we have an increase in trips to the emergency room, and even worse. New Jersey needs to do a better job cleaning our air, however the Christie administration is putting us in the wrong direction,” *Tittel stated.*

* * The decision by Governor Christie will affect New Jersey residents because as show in the report every county in the state does not meet the ground level ozone standard. Ground level ozone is one of the worst air pollutants and is the reason for the need for reduction. Ground level ozone affects children, people with asthma, elderly, and those with repository illnesses. It not only has significant health impacts, but it is an irritant for people at risk it which can actually cause asthma attacks sending people to the hospitals. It is also linked to premature death through heart attacks or asthma attacks. Areas across the country with high levels of zone have 30% higher rate of death from lung disease. The main sources are from industrials plants and cars. With New Jersey having some of the worst air quality in the nation Governor Christie should be working to protect our health and our lungs instead of siding with polluters and big oil.

With all of Governor Christie’s policies and environmental weakenings including raiding clean energy money, cutting back on our solar program, pulling out of RGGI, widening the Turnpike and Parkway, building Xanadu, and delaying the Sulfur Rule all of which in the long term will give us more air pollution. The Governor Christie has put our air quality at risk before back in November the Governor decided not to join other northeastern states in Kansas v. EPA a lawsuit which challenges the proposed Cross State air Pollution Rule. The EPA’s Cross State Pollution rule helps protect air quality in downwind states by limiting the amount of pollution that can be produced in other states. Governor Christie needs to stop playing to national political interests and polluters and stand up for New Jersey’s residents and our air quality.

“Governor Christie’s national political ambitions once again trump the health of the people he has sworn to protect. There is no other credible explanation other than to please ALEC and the Koch Brothers. Given his record with pulling out of climate change legislation and RGGI he is basically sacrificing us for his political agenda,” *said Tittel.*

-- 
Nicole Dallara, Outreach Coordinator
New Jersey Sierra Club
145 W. Hanover Street
Trenton, NJ 08618
609-656-7612
-- 
Nicole Dallara, Outreach Coordinator
New Jersey Sierra Club
145 W. Hanover Street
Trenton, NJ 08618
609-656-7612
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Received on 2012-04-25 14:12:51

New Jersey Sierra Club, 145 West Hanover St., Trenton, NJ 08618, USA
tel: 609 656 7612, fax 609 656 7618
or email Nicole Dallara, Outreach Coordinator, at nicole.dallara@sierraclub.org

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