Allergy & Asthma Network joins with nearly 25 patient advocacy organizations in urging the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to place stronger limits on oil and gas industry pollution, particularly methane emissions.
In the letter to EPA Administrator Michael S. Regan, the organizations say methane emissions and pollution like volatile organic compounds (VOCs) pose a serious threat to human health.
Methane is released during the production and transport of oil, gas and coal. It is a known driver of climate change by trapping heat in the atmosphere.
Climate-related health impacts include damage to lung function, increased risk of asthma and COPD flare-ups, respiratory illnesses such as bronchitis, death from heat stroke and outbreaks of diseases. In addition, VOCs are known to cause cancer.
The organizations call on EPA to:
- Establish stronger standards to control emissions from new, reconstructed and modified oil and gas processes and equipment. These standards include an increased check for leaks and subsequent repair.
- Extend these strong standards to existing oil and gas processes and equipment.