Petition Against EPA Rollbacks on Refineries

While the coronavirus pandemic continues to dominate our thoughts and the news, we want you to know that UPHE is still fighting for clean air in every way possible.  Clean air is more important than ever, now that the pandemic is spreading rapidly throughout Utah.  The acute and chronic health consequences of pollution, on the heart, lungs, endocrine, and immune systems, will increase the tragic outcomes of this pandemic.

Back in 2012, UPHE joined several other groups and collaborated with attorneys from EarthJustice in suing the EPA for dragging their feet on their legal obligation to make progress in controlling refinery pollution.  Towards the end of the Obama Administration, the EPA finally responded with proposed new rules to reduce pollution from malfunctions, bypasses, and flare offs, and better control of toxic benzene emissions.

But the EPA under the current administration just back tracked on those improved rules.  Their proposal would unlawfully exempt refineries from accountability for flare off emissions, and revise downward cancer risk assessments from refinery pollution, benzene in particular, with no scientific justification. In response, UPHE again has joined other groups, and with the help of EarthJustice attorneys, is formally petitioning the EPA for reconsideration.  If the EPA doesn’t relent, we will most likely file for court action.

You can see our full petition here.