To the editor:
On February 19 the United States House of Representatives passed a bill cutting funding to the Environmental Protection Agency the biggest budget cut in 30 years. This new lower budget will make it increasingly difficult for the EPA to monitor and regulate coal-driven power plants like the Alexandria -based Potomac River Generating Station.
Facilities like Alexandrias Mirant-owned (now called GenOn) plant are some of the nations greatest polluters releasing toxic mercury-laden gas and particles into surrounding air and water sources. Their presence contributes to a host of life shortening diseases, including respiratory ailments, heart attacks and cancer. Children, the elderly and pets are particularly vulnerable.
Although there are currently no limits on the amount of carbon pollution that power plants can release, the EPA is working to minimize it. However, the recent slashes to its budget may severely hamper these efforts.
Most of us would agree that budgeting is important in this economic climate. But, can we really afford excessive budget cuts in areas that affect our health? Lets demand Congress budget more responsibly by giving adequate funding to the EPA. Lets allow this government agency to perform its intended function the protection of our environment and the well-being of those living in it.