Letter to the editor: EPA prioritizing money over children’s health?
The letter by Stephanie Catarino Wissman of the Associated Petroleum Industries of Pennsylvania (“Committed to methane reduction,” Dec. 6, TribLIVE) attempts to discount the testimony of letter-writer Lois Bower-Bjornson (“EPA rollbacks dangerous,”Nov. 16, TribLIVE), who wrote, “My 12-year-old son has nosebleeds if the windows are open at night. My 9-year-old daughter and my two other sons have experienced full body rashes as a result of this air pollution.” As a sustainability student in Pittsburgh, I was disappointed to read a response that justifies methane production and frames EPA rollbacks as “technical corrections.”
The proposed EPA rule is called “Oil and Natural Gas Sector: Emission Standards for New, Reconstructed, and Modified Sources Reconsideration.” The rule would reduce the frequency of leak inspections. It would change from semiannual monitoring and leak repair within 30 days of detection to annual monitoring and leak repair within 60 days of detection. This change could harm children in Pennsylvania who are experiencing negative effects from air pollution.
Why would the EPA propose a rule that has the potential to harm children while simultaneously increasing emissions? Money. This rule would save approximately $58.5 million in 2020 and $112.5 million in 2025. A reduction in costs must not be prioritized over the health of children in Pennsylvania.
The writer is a senior majoring
at Chatham University.