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Public health group applauds Senate commitment to combating climate change (6/15)

The American Public Health Association (APHA) applauds the Senate for opposing a measure that would have blocked the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) authority to regulate greenhouse gas emissions under the Clean Air Act that significantly contribute to climate change and threaten public health, according to a recent press release.

The U.S. Senate voted 53-47 against Sen. Lisa Murkowski’s amendment that would have upended the EPA’s endangerment findings and reduced the agency’s ability to protect the nation’s health and welfare.

“Climate change is as much an environmental issue as it is a leading public health concern,” said Georges C. Benjamin, MD, FACP, FACEP (E), executive director of the American Public Health Association. “Today’s vote affirmed EPA in its mission to protect all Americans from environmental health hazards, and it must continue to have authority over the full breadth of its critical work.”

Current levels of the six key greenhouse gases cited in EPA’s endangerment finding pose significant public health threats, including increased likelihood of more frequent and intense heat waves, more wildfires, degraded air quality, more flooding, increased drought, more intense storms, harm to water resources and harm to agriculture.

The APHA commends the Senate for reaffirming its commitment to combat climate change and protect public health and looks forward to working with Congress and the administration as we bolster our response to this leading threat to public health.

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