At this moment, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is holding a public comment period over its decision to repeal the lifesaving Clean Power Plan. The plan provides lifesaving air pollution reductions, including the first federally created limits on carbon pollution from power plants.

The Clean Power Plan would reduce carbon pollution and other harmful pollutants from power plants. EPA’s analysis shows that the Clean Power Plan will prevent 90,000 pediatric asthma attacks and up to 4,500 premature deaths every year by 2030.

Maine has the highest asthma rate in the country and this state is downwind for many power plants in other regions whose pollution is being measured constantly. Mainers see little if any financial benefit from those dirty plants; only their smog, acid rain and hazardous air pollutants that is measured at Cape Elizabeth and other coastal sites as it enters Maine. Every year, Maine has had to issue health warnings because of incoming bad air from upwind states.

Repealing the Clean Power Plan threatens the health of everyone, but some populations (especially Mainers) are at a higher risk, including children, older adults and those with respiratory disease. Maine has already taken aggressive steps to reduce its own pollution but repeal of federal regulations will again increase health risks to the public.

I urge the EPA to prioritize the health of Americans and protect the life-saving Clean Power Plan.

John Chandler, Auburn

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