Black Millennials 4 Flint Official Statement on the EPA Methane Rule

Jan 17, 2023 | BM4F Spotlights, Uncategorized, Young, Gifted & Green Blog Series | 0 comments

January 12, 2023

We would first like to thank EPA for listening to frontline communities like ours back in 2021 to cut methane and other harmful pollutants from new and existing oil and gas operations. This is undeniably an important step towards addressing the climate crisis, safeguarding public health, and creating new jobs in the methane mitigation industry. Still, there is more work to be done to ensure that the strongest possible methane safeguards are quickly finalized. 

In the cities we serve like Flint, MI, Baltimore, MD, Memphis, TN and even in our nation’s capital Washington, DC, the public health issues associated with methane, like health-damaging air pollutants, can cause premature birth, asthma, cancer, and other adverse health impacts which further exacerbates public health with other legacy pollution issues like lead service lines and lead paint which cause similar chronic issues as methane. For example, in the most recent Flint and Genesee County Michigan Community Needs Assessment

  • The infant death rate for Flint is more than double that of the United States.
  •  The percentage of low-birth-weight Infants in Flint was 14.6%, 32% higher than the county average, 40% higher than the state average.

There are 4 core requests that we ask you to consider: 

  1. Create more guardrails to monitor and assess public health implications to further align with President Biden’s call to action surrounding environmental justice to reduce harm utilizing a whole government, inter-agency approach. 
  2. Ensure that operators at wells capture associated gas and limit flaring of that gas in instances in which it is necessary for safety or maintenance reasons.
  3. Strengthen the standards to address emissions from storage tanks by making the standards applicable to more tanks
  4. Provide a clear pathway for communities and individuals to participate and engage in the Super Emitter Response Program, which is designed to quickly address very large leaks from the oil and gas industry, by ensuring that approved monitoring technologies and data are accessible to all.

Our mothers….our children…our families are counting on EPA to do more as it is a literal life and death situation, and as for my community and I, we choose to live in abundantly healthy and thriving communities, not merely surviving in pollution. Our communities are counting on this Administration and your agency to quickly address these concerns, prioritize human life and the well being of every American regardless of race, gender or zip code, and to finalize strong, comprehensive new and existing source rules to cut methane pollution from the oil and gas sector before it’s too late.

Submit your comment (below) to the EPA and urge our leaders to quickly finalize the strongest possible safeguards to cut methane and other harmful pollution from the oil and gas industry.

Submit your comment HERE.

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