Prime Time TV Ads Target Baltimore’s Crappy Air

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Doctors and green groups are advertising on TV calling on Hogan to publish the smog regulations so we can all breather easier.
Clean Air TV ads say more Baltimore residents die from air pollution than from gun violence every year.

You don’t see this very often, TV ads for cleaner Baltimore air!  When did Mother Nature come into some cash? It’s a good thing she’s asking for smog regulations because Baltimore’s air quality is horrendous. 

The Chesapeake Physicians for Social Responsibility and Sierra Club bought prime time TV spots for clean air their ads airing across the state. The spots call on Governor Hogan to publish the smog regulations he nixed on his first day as Governor. (We also asked him nicely to publish the regulations.)

In a nutshell, Maryland was just about to require four Baltimore and Washington polluting, dinosaur power plants to to run their pollution controls during the summer, or install new controls. Even on really bad summer days, these plants aren’t often required to run their pollution controls. A couple plants never installed them in the first place.

Baltimore has some of the worst air on the East Coast. Since Hogan pulled the signed-off-regs on January 21, Baltimore has experienced 14 Code Orange and Red air quality alert days. And it’s not even summer when hot sun bakes pollution into unhealthy smog. These higher-polluting plants are one of the reasons 20 percent of Baltimore’s kids suffer asthma (twice the U.S. average.) Among all of the lists we top, Charm City rates no. 1 in deaths from air pollution. Learn more about the crappy air you are breathing.

Environmental groups rarely advertise on mass TV. What’s driving these ads is that the nixed smog regulations were quickly turned into the Healthy Air for All Act. This bill is in committee in the House, and Maryland’s General Assembly ends April 13.

It’s been quiet on the Hogan front, but nowhere else. Baltimore City, Montgomery and Prince George’s County Councils all passed resolutions last week calling on Hogan to approve the regs. Led by the Sierra Club, environmental groups and public health professionals are pushing for the smog regulations to be in place before our hot summer starts. We’ll keep you posted.

Laurel Peltier
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