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Mayor Heartwell sends support to Obama for clean air protections

Posted at 1:41 PM, Sep 21, 2015
and last updated 2015-09-21 13:41:45-04

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – Mayor George Heartwell, along with the mayor of Salt Lake City, Utah, has released a letter signed by 70 U.S. mayors asking for President Obama to set the strongest possible clean air protections against smog pollution.

The letter has support of mayors from 24 states, including California, Illinois, and Michigan.

“Millions of children suffer from asthma in this country, many of them right here in Grand Rapids,” said Mayor Heartwell in a press release. “It’s simple – strong smog pollution protections will save lives and prevent asthma attacks so we stand united in calling for action.”

According to the city, the existing standard of 75 parts per billion (ppb) was put in place by the George W. Bush Administration and has been panned by the medical community as insufficient to protect public health. In a letter released in March 2015, 13 medical associations wrote EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy asking her to strengthen these protections to safeguard vulnerable populations from its negative health impacts. The Obama Administration is under court order to issue an update to these air quality standards by October 1, 2015.