|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE|
|Date:||April 6, 2006|
Joy Oakes, NPCA, 202-223-6722, ext. 260
Healthy Air Act Protects Park, Communities
Joy M. Oakes, Mid-Atlantic Regional Director
Today's passage of Maryland's Healthy Air Act demonstrates reasonable, rational, and effective steps toward protecting the crown jewels of our state and our nation–our national parks. Implementation of this Act will help protect the natural and historic assets that make Maryland an interesting and enjoyable place to live and to visit.
The Healthy Air Act will help to reduce pollution in national parks, including Catoctin Mountain Park, C&O Canal National Historical Park, Fort McHenry National Monument in Baltimore, and the Chesapeake Bay Gateways Network, all of which are located in counties designated by the EPA as exceeding human health-protective limits on ground-level ozone or fine particle pollution. It will help local businesses successfully market Maryland's scenic beauty and outstanding recreational opportunities. Finally, it puts Maryland on the right path to reduce our contribution to global warming, which threatens natural and historic resources throughout the Chesapeake Bay region.
The Healthy Air Coalition, including health professionals, faith-based groups, civic groups, and conservation groups, worked tirelessly and effectively to advance the bill. We are especially grateful to key legislative leaders, including the bill's authors, State Senator Paul Pinsky and Delegate Jim Hubbard; key committee chairs Senator Paula Hollinger and Delegate Dereck Davis; Senate President Mike Miller and House Speaker Mike Busch; and the bill's 99 initial cosponsors, for guiding the bill successfully through the legislature. We appreciate Gov. Robert Ehrlich signing the bill into law.