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EPA says clean power plan will protect public health

Kate O'Connell
WXXI File Photo

New carbon standards in the Clean Power Plan announced earlier this month by the Obama administration are also intended to improve your health. The goal of the new rules and regulations is to reduce the 7,500 deaths per year linked to particle pollution from power plants.

The Environmental Protection Agency calls climate change a threat to human health.Judith Enck, EPA administrator for the region that includes New York state, says the new standards will make the air easier to breathe for people with repertory illnesses, like the 25 million Americans who live with asthma.

“We’re also reducing air pollutants that cause smog and soot by about 25 percent. So, that’ll have some real health benefits to New Yorkers, as well,” says Enck.

Rising global temperatures have also taken a toll on public health.

“Nighttime temperatures are staying warmer. Usually it cools down at night, but that’s not happening this summer. So, they’re seeing more hospital admissions in the nighttime hours for people who are struggling with heat,” says Enck.

The non-profit research organization Resources for the Future estimates reductions in carbon could save 35,000 lives in the country each year by 2020. Another organization, the Clean Air Task Force,estimates particle pollution from power plants claims over 40 lives a year in the Rochester area, for example.