I write to thank Rep. Bruce Poliquin for standing up for the health of Mainers across the state as one of only 11 Republicans in the House to vote against the “Smoggy Skies Act.”

This legislation is reckless and dangerous. Smog, or ground level air pollution, is dangerous and widespread. Southern Maine is particularly vulnerable, and millions of Americans both here in Maine and across the country are also vulnerable to poor air quality.

The aptly named “Smoggy Skies Act” would worsen those conditions, delay ozone protections for years, and permanently weaken one of our nation’s strongest public health laws — the Clean Air Act. This bill would make it much more difficult to protect people from asthma attacks, emergency room visits, and premature deaths from ozone pollution.

Unfortunately, despite Poliquin’s no vote and the fact that Maine and the entire Northeast are in the middle of summer ozone season, the U.S House of Representatives just passed this dangerous and harmful bill. We must now implore Sens. Susan Collins and Angus King to follow their colleague and vote no on this legislation when it reaches the Senate floor.

It’s critically important that our senators vote against this act and stop this dangerous legislation in its tracks. Maine is especially vulnerable to smog through upwind transport and has no way to reduce the number of unhealthy events by itself. We rely on strong federal requirements that go to where the ozone causing contamination is coming from.

John Chandler, Auburn

Member, American Lung Association in Maine Board of Directors

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