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Press Room:  For Immediate Release 
Explore, Enjoy and Protect the Planet

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
February 15, 2011

Contacts: Virginia Cramer, Sierra Club, 804-225-9113 x 102
Maggie Kao, Sierra Club, 202-675-2384

Citizen Groups Demand Strong Clean Air Protections at Second National Listening Session
Local and National Leaders Gather to Join Discussion on Carbon Pollution Protection

Washington, D.C. – Today, local and national leaders from the environmental justice, public health and environmental communities gathered to kick off the Atlanta leg of a national Environmental Protection Agency roundtable tour. The purpose of the tour is to gather input on standards to limit carbon pollution from the nation’s biggest, dirtiest polluters—power plants and refineries.  The standards, called New Source Performance Standards (NSPS) will improve the lives and health of millions of Americans.

Today’s discussion focused on environmental and environmental justice concerns related to carbon pollution and included leading members from the affected communities.

“Our country's biggest polluters are currently allowed to spew carbon pollution into our air with no limits,” said Joanne Spalding who represented the Sierra Club on today’s panel. “The lack of protections has put the health of communities across the country at risk, some disproportionately so. Quickly establishing safeguards for the biggest polluters will help us all breathe a little easier.”

Carbon pollution has been linked to other life-threatening types of pollution such as soot, smog and mercury. Decreasing carbon pollution will help reduce other types of harmful air pollution that contribute to asthma and other chronic respiratory problems. The clean up process will make for healthier kids and families and create much-needed jobs installing pollution controls.

The EPA will be meeting with state and tribal representatives, refineries and utilities to gather input on the safeguards in the coming weeks. Upcoming discussions include: 
Feb. 17, 2011: Chicago, IL with State and Tribal Representatives 
Feb. 23, 2011: Washington, DC with Coalition Group Representatives 
March 4, 2011: Washington, DC with Refineries

Final carbon pollution standards for the biggest polluters, power plants and refineries, will be issued in the next two years.

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