news releases

21 April 2022

Hispanic Access Chief of Programs joins Harris County Commissioner to call on President Biden & EPA to Strengthen Air Quality Standards in Texas

Category: News Releases

Hispanic Access Foundation’s Chief of Programs David Armijo and Chantelle Ruidant-Hansen, MANO Program alumni, joined clean air advocates in Texas for a press conference to call on President Biden and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to enact the strongest possible Mercury and Air Toxics Standards (MATS) and Cross State Air Pollution (CSAPR) safeguards to reduce pollution from the W.A. Parish Generating Station and other dirty power plants in Texas.

“President Biden and the Environmental Protection Agency have an opportunity to take several bold steps to cut pollution from power plants by improving Mercury and Air toxics standards and Cross state air pollution safeguards,” said Armijo. “We ask them to continue to keep Latino communities in mind, as time and time has shown how Latino voters overwhelmingly support policies that address climate change and protect nature because we have a responsibility to future generations to leave a legacy of stewardship, clean air and water, and a liveable climate.”

Dangerous air pollution from the W.A. Parish plant poses serious public health risks to local communities. Last year, W.A. Parish — one of Texas’s largest and dirtiest plants — ranked first in carbon dioxide emissions in the state and second in sulfur dioxide emissions. In the last five years, W.A. Parish has committed 51 violations of the Clean Air Act. The American Lung Association gave Harris County, which is comprised of 44 percent Latinos, an “F” for ozone pollution and a “C” for 24 hour particle pollution in its annual State of the Air report, ranking the Houston metropolitan area as one of America’s 20 most polluted cities.

Speakers stressed the need for federal action to safeguard the health of Harris County residents as Rice University research found that the WA Parish Generating Station was responsible for an estimated 178 deaths each year.

“We’re urging them to set the strongest possible standards to protect our air and our health and meet the President’s commitment to meet the climate crisis and protect all communities including marginalized communities of color,” said Armijo.

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Hispanic Access Foundation connects Latinos and others with partners and opportunities to improve lives and create an equitable society.

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