Today on 30 Minutes, we speak to representatives from neighborhood residents, Physicians for Social Responsibility, and the Sierra Club who all support a recent EPA Haze Ruling. The Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) rule indicates that Arizona must do more to be in compliance with The Clean Air Act, including addressing the Sundt Generating Station, a coal-fired power plant on Tucson’s south side.
Our guests today are Claudio Rodiguez and Carlos Rodriguez of Tierra y Libertad Organization; Dr. Barbara Warren, Arizona State Chapter Director of Physicians for Social Responsibility; and Dan Millis, the Beyond Coal Program Coordinator for the Sierra Club’s Grand Canyon Chapter.
From Millis’ press release “According to a 2010 study commissioned by the Clean Air Task Force, air pollution from coal combustion at Sundt causes 68 asthma attacks, 6 heart attacks, and 4 deaths every year.
“Growing up we didn’t even know about all the poisons coming from the plant, but lots of kids had asthma and breathing problems,” said Claudio Rodriguez of Tierra Y Libertad Organization, whose childhood home is only a few blocks away.
“Our desert community used to be a haven for those seeking clean air to breathe, and now it is the opposite, with children requiring treatment for asthma at a higher rate in Arizona than the national average. Coal is a significant contributor to this suffering,” said Dr. Barbara Warren, a trained community medicine physician and public health expert.
“Coal is literally making Tucson sick,” said Dan Millis, Beyond Coal Program Coordinator for the Sierra Club’s Grand Canyon Chapter. “This plant has been impacting a neighborhood where three out of four people are people of color, and the average income is less than $11,000 a year. Sierra Club is glad to see this injustice coming to an end.” Tucson Electric Power plans to end coal combustion at Sundt by the end of 2017 as part of the EPA’s effort to clean up haze in the region.”