Hundreds of health care professionals -- including 50 from Michigan -- have joined in support of the first-ever federal limits on carbon pollution from power plants. West Michigan has four coal-fired power plants on the lakeshore -- plants that detractors say fill the air with arsenic, lead and other health threats.
West Michigan doctor Jack Roossien tells WOOD Radio several health agencies are urging the EPA to reissue and finalize carbon pollution rules for new power plants as soon as possible.
"We are trying to put out fires that are already burning with these health issues. What we are trying to do is go back to the source and say 'how can we do a better job of prevention.' That takes local and regional action to improve that."
In the past decade, the proportion of people with asthma in the US increased by 15 percent. The number of children with asthma has increased more than 50 percent.
Dr. Roosien says there has never been a more critical time to address carbon pollution from power plants.
"We only see the end results, the asthma attacks that chronic lung disease that crashes and burns and ends up on ventilators. We are seeing it farther down the pipeline."
The EPA to working to reissue and finalize carbon pollution rules for new power plants. Roossien says health groups want to see the EPA take another look at existing power plants..
"We are encouraging them to develop a strong statement for further reduction in pollution at existing power plants. That way you get the best of both worlds."