Lead in the air is a serious matter. As it has to do with when (and where) present in the air, it is important to rid the air of this extremely unhealthy substance.
Which is why eight years earlier, as it happens, “Clean Air Act standards for lead pollution were formalized,” noted the Center for Biological Diversity (Center) in its “Settlement Reached to Protect Air Quality in North Carolina From Lead Pollution,” press release.
In response, according to the Center, an agreement between the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and conservation groups that protects North Carolinians from air polluted with lead – which has until May 31st of next year to come up with a plan for doing just that – was reached.
That the EPA and the State of North Carolina, as the Center duly noted, “have failed to develop a plan to make sure the state maintains healthy standards for lead, which pose serious threats to public health and ecosystems,” all things considered, it remains unclear as to why that is.
Coming to agreement, meanwhile, were the Center, the Center for Environmental Health and the EPA. The settlement was approved by a judge in federal court in the state of California.
The Center further pointed out that “[u]nder the leadership of Republican Gov. Pat McCrory, North Carolina, along with other states and the coal-mining industry, sued the EPA last month to oppose the Clean Power Plan, which is aimed at reducing greenhouse gas pollution. In 2014 the state legislature passed, and the Governor signed, the Regulatory Reform Act (Senate Bill 734), which included a provision to limit local governments in the state from setting air-pollution controls on the burning of coal, gas, oil or wood in home-heating devices.”
“‘It’s shameful that the elected officials of North Carolina are working to eliminate environmental protections for the citizens of their state,’ said [Jonathan] Evans,” a Center endangered species and toxics campaign director.
Added Evans in the release: “‘This agreement helps ensure that North Carolinians will be protected from toxic lead air pollution.’”
As part of the Clean Air Act, the EPA is required to identify and set for lead and other harmful pollutants, “‘National Ambient Air Quality Standards’,” the Center in the release further stressed and explained, “[l]ead, which does not break down in the environment, is an extremely toxic element that threatens human health, especially children’s. It disrupts their development, causing slow growth, development defects and damage to the brain and nervous system. Ecosystems near lead sources experience decreases in biodiversity and ecosystem production, and increases in invasive species.”