Updates from ELCA Advocacy re: Environment/Energy

Jan-Feb Advocacy Update (thanks to Christine Moffett, Witness in Society | Washington D.C. – Evangelical Lutheran Church in America 

Soot Pollution Standards: The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced the final rule on stricter standards for soot pollution. EPA is tightening the standard for soot pollution from a level of 12 micrograms per cubic meter to 9 micrograms per cubic meter. This tightened standard will reduce harmful emissions and clean up our air. It will save lives, improve public health outcomes, including reducing cases of asthma and frequency of hospital visits, and cut down on missed work and school days resulting from these health challenges. The EPA’s new soot pollution standard is expected to save an estimated 4,500 lives and deliver $46 billion in health benefits in 2032. ELCA Advocacy joined other faith partners to advocate for this change over the last year and celebrates this decision. Find Faith letter here.
 
FEMA Individual Assistance Update: The Biden Administration, along with the Federal Emergency Management Agency, has made significant updates to the Individual Assistance program for survivors of disaster. These updates are intended to establish new benefits, cut red tape and expand eligibility, and simplify the application process for Individual Assistance.  ELCA Advocacy along with Lutheran Disaster Response have been advocating for changes like these to simplify the process for survivors of declared disasters. With faith-based volunteers, houses of worship, and disaster response coordinators, such as ELCA Lutheran Disaster Response, often on the front line of major disasters, changes in regulation like these can quite impactful. It is promising to see changes made swiftly at the regulatory level, but potential for Administration turnover could threaten these improvements. ELCA Witness in Society, along with partners will continue to advocate for legislative action to simplify and improve disaster response policies. For more information or to take action, here.