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Many on Gulf Coast say time is running out for EPA to act on toxic air

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By illuminem briefings 🌎

· 2 min read


illuminem summarizes for you the essential news of the day. Read the full piece on The Washington Post or enjoy below:

🗞️ Driving the news: Residents in Gulf Coast communities, like 77-year-old Lois Malvo in Lake Charles, LA, continue to suffer health issues due to pollution from nearby refineries and chemical plants
Despite promises from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Michael Regan to address these concerns, progress has been slow.

🔭 The context: The EPA's efforts to enforce stricter pollution controls in the Gulf Coast have been hampered by staffing shortages, internal disputes, and a backlog of cases from previous administrations
• Despite some recent actions, such as a lawsuit against Louisiana-based Denka and increased inspections, many residents feel time is running out to see meaningful change.

🌍 Why it matters for the planet: The situation in the Gulf Coast highlights the ongoing struggle to balance industrial activity with environmental health and safety, particularly in disadvantaged communities
Effective enforcement of pollution controls is crucial for reducing harmful emissions and protecting public health.

⏭️ What's next: The EPA faces challenges in speeding up enforcement and implementing new pollution limits
There are concerns that if the current pace of action continues, significant changes might not occur before the potential shift in administration after the 2024 presidential election.

💬 One quote: “Our health lets us know that something isn’t right,” says Lois Malvo, emphasizing the direct impact of pollution on community health.

📈 One stat: The EPA's regional office in Texas conducted 740 inspections in 2023, focusing on disadvantaged communities, compared to 516 in 2022, indicating a rise in enforcement efforts.

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