Smog in Virginia

Ahead of a hearing and vote in Congress on the Environmental Protection Agency’s regulatory policy-making, a group of environmental activists has released a report that details the effects of smog on the Commonwealth. The pending action by Congress could ease EPA regulations.  The group says the legislation would allow big industrial companies to further contaminate the environment.

Near House Majority Leader Eric Cantor’s district, the activists and state Delegate Jennifer McClellan urged Virginia’s Congressional delegation to vote against the TRAIN Act, which is spearheaded by Cantor.  They say his district and other parts of the state rank among the highest in smog pollution nationwide.

Environment Virginia’s Caroline Kory adds that while the Act’s supporters say EPA regulations hinder job creation, industry leaders ignore data suggesting that those businesses contribute to a decline in health.  She says it costs less to address pollution now before the problem gets worse.  Delegate McClellan rebuts the claim that regulations harm jobs.  She says there’s a nexus between the environment and jobs … such as when cleaner natural resources attract tourists—thus helping that industry.

–Tommie McNeil

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