Millions of Americans live near oil refineries, which churn out dangerous air pollution – a toxic soup that includes gases like benzene, toluene, and xylene, as well as volatile organic compounds – that sickens and kills them.1
In Port Arthur, Texas, which hosts 27 oil refineries, "cancer rates for African Americans in the community are 15 percent higher than for the average Texan, and the mortality rate from cancer is 40 percent higher. Respiratory and heart conditions are four times as likely."2
The EPA recently proposed strict new regulations to reduce and monitor air pollution from refineries, which it's accepting public comments on for just over another week. These regulations would save lives, but the oil industry has launched a PR blitz to weaken them. We have to fight back now.
Tell the EPA: Don't cave to the oil industry. Protect communities from toxic air pollution by strengthening your proposed oil refinery regulations.
Low-income people and and people of color are far more likely to live near an oil refinery, and children are especially vulnerable to harmful refinery pollution.
There are nearly 150 oil refineries around the country. The proposed rules would protect more than 5 million people who live within 32 miles of a refinery.3 The rules target chemicals that are known or suspected to cause cancer, birth defects and respiratory problems. And they're badly needed.
We can't let the EPA back down and weaken the rules in response to pressure from Big Oil. Tell the EPA that we need even stronger rules to protect communities from harmful air pollution from oil refineries.
1. Matthew Tresaugue, "EPA tightens decades-old refinery pollution rules," The Houston Chronicle, May 15, 2014
2. Jeff Spross, "EPA Moves To Crack Down On Toxic Emissions From Oil Refineries," ThinkProgress, May 16, 2014
3. Emily Schmall, "Residents: Restrict emissions at oil refineries," AP, August 5, 2014