PA IPL’s written testimony to the EPA’s Office of Air and Radiation.
The EPA came about as a result of fully bipartisan legislation that still had strong bipartisan support years later when it was renewed. That legislation, the Clean Water Act and the Clean Air Act grew out of experiences across the country, including a tragic and seminal case from our Commonwealth of Pennsylvania – the Donora Smog of 1948 in which 20 people were killed directly during the incident, 700 were rendered critically ill, 50 died within a month, and mortality rates even a decade later were well ahead of nearby communities. U.S. Steel never accepted responsibility, and payouts to the injured and widowed covered little more than legal expenses. In this country, we know that this is not right.
It is true that sometimes regulations cost corporations some money, and yet we are a people that understands that there are moral standards, moral limits. We limited child labor, no matter how plentiful and nimble the very young might be, and how much more expensive it might be to pay adults to do honest work. We understand that is the right thing to do, and so we do it.
Similarly, we know that we cannot allow industries to use our Common Home in ways that trample the green pastures on which we all feed, or muddy the waters from which we all drink. [Ezekiel 34:18]. Unfortunately, we have also learned that the drumbeat of profit can be deafening, and balance sheets blinding, and so we must, as a people, agree upon standards, limits to poor behavior.
EPA regulations are not promulgated willy-nilly. In fact, they are created over time, in consultation with stakeholders, and with public comment Continue reading