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For Immediate Release, September 25, 2013

Contact:  Rose Braz, (510) 435-6809, or

Arlington County, Va., Joins Growing Call for National Climate Action

Facing Growing Climate Threats, County Urges EPA to Use Clean Air Act to Cut Carbon Pollution 

ARLINGTON COUNTY, Va.— Arlington County, Va., has become the 70th U.S. community to call on President Barack Obama and the Environmental Protection Agency to make full use of the Clean Air Act to cut the greenhouse gas pollution that’s drastically changing the climate.

By passing a resolution Tuesday, Arlington County has joined communities like Washington, D.C., Chicago, Detroit and Los Angeles as part of the Center for Biological Diversity’s national Clean Air Cities campaign.

“President Obama took another step last week toward deploying the Clean Air Act against greenhouse gas pollution, and now is the moment to push the federal government for ambitious action,” said Rose Braz, the Center’s climate campaign director. “Arlington’s leaders, like people in communities around the country, understand the dangers of climate change and are urging action through the passage of this resolution. To avert climate chaos, we must make full use of the Clean Air Act.”

The Obama administration’s recently announced New Source Performance Standards for new power plants — which the administration was already legally required to develop under the Clean Air Act — will make only modest cuts to power plant pollution over the coming years, even as scientists point to alarming new evidence of the growing risks of climate change. 

With 32 heat records broken, 2012 was the third-hottest year ever recorded for Virginia. Rising temperatures bring the threat of additional heat-related illness and deaths, increased air pollution and drought. Just last week, coastal Virginia mayors and other local elected officials gathered in Williamsburg to call for increased state action on climate in light of serious local impacts, including flooding and sea level rise. 

The Center’s Clean Air Cities campaign is working around the country to encourage cities to pass resolutions supporting the Clean Air Act and using the Act to reduce carbon in our atmosphere to no more than 350 parts per million, the level scientists say we must reach in order to avoid catastrophic climate change.

Similar resolutions have been approved in 69 other U.S. communities: Albany, Ithaca and Yonkers, N.Y.; Bloomfield and Hartford, Conn.; Albany, Berkeley, Santa Monica, Arcata, Oxnard, Santa Cruz, Richmond, Culver City, San Francisco, San Leandro, Fairfax, West Hollywood, Oakland and Los Angeles, Calif.; Seattle, Wash.; Nashville, Tenn; Kauai, Hawaii; New Hope Borough, Pittsburgh and Philadelphia, Pa.; Tucson, Ariz.; Boone, N.C.; Minneapolis, Minn.; Milwaukee and Madison, Wis.; Newton, Cambridge, Amherst, Newburyport, and Northampton, Concord, Mass.; Cincinnati and Oberlin, Ohio; Keene, N.H.; Santa Fe, N.M.; Kansas City, Mo.; Salt Lake City, Utah; Miami, South Miami, Pinecrest, Tampa, Hallandale Beach, Gulfport, Broward County, Monroe County, St. Petersburg, Key West and West Palm Beach, Fla.; Chicago, Ill.; Teton County, Wyo.; Eugene, Ore.; Boulder, Colo.; Burlington, Vt.; Detroit and Ann Arbor, Mich.; Wilmington, Del.; Providence, R.I.; Gary, Ind.; Woodbridge, N.J.; Portland, Maine; Baltimore, Md.; Buffalo, Red Hook, N.Y.; and Washington, D.C. Several other cities around the country will be considering resolutions over the next few months.

Learn more about the Clean Air Act and the Center’s Clean Air Cities campaign and Climate Law Institute.

The Center for Biological Diversity is a national, nonprofit conservation organization with more than 625,000 members and online activists dedicated to the protection of endangered species and wild places.

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