Night time photo of methane gas pollution by factories. The flame is shown coming out of one stack and the background is blueish green.

As advocates for clean and healthy air, Allergy & Asthma Network supports stronger federal methane standards.

In testimony at a Nov. 30, 2021 public hearing hosted by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Director of Advocacy Charmayne Anderson said the Network supports EPA’s proposed new measures to reduce methane and other harmful air pollution from the oil and natural gas industry.

Methane is released during the production and transport of oil, gas and coal. It is a known driver of climate change because it traps heat in the atmosphere. Climate-related health impacts may include:

  • reduced lung function
  • increased risk of asthma and COPD flare-ups
  • Increased risk of respiratory illnesses such as bronchitis.

“Climate change is a health emergency, especially for those with chronic lung diseases such as asthma and COPD,” Anderson says. “Children, older adults, low-income individuals and families, and communities of color are at greater risk.

“The quality of air we breathe is truly a matter of life or death.”

In addition to stronger federal methane standards, the Network urges EPA to end oil and gas industry practices that result in harmful air pollution and eliminate loopholes to regular inspections. Read the full testimony here.

Image of logos from all of the supporting companies of stronger regulations for oil and gas companies

Methane Emissions: ‘Serious Threat to Human Health’

In June 2021, Allergy & Asthma Network joined with nearly 25 patient advocacy organizations in urging EPA to place stronger limits on oil and gas industry pollution, particularly methane emissions. In a letter to EPA Administrator Michael S. Regan, the organizations called methane emissions and pollution like volatile organic compounds (VOCs) a serious threat to human health.

The organizations called 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.