September 24, 2020

Congressman Neguse Amendment to Improve Smoke Forecasts and Study Wildfire Health Impacts Passes through House

Washington, D.C. – Today, Congressman Joe Neguse (D-CO), alongside his colleagues Reps. Mike Levin (D-CA) and Suzanne Bonamici (D-OR), passed an amendment to establish a program focused on improving wildfire smoke emissions modeling and developing smoke forecasts. The amendment also directs the Environmental Protection Agency to collect data and coordinate research on the impacts of acute air pollution exposure from wildfires, especially in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic. The amendment passed along with H.R. 4447, the Clean Economy and Innovation Act.  

“As wildfires continue to burn across the Western United States, we must make federal investments to provide tools and data to keep communities safe. Climate change will only further exacerbate drought conditions and intensify our fire seasons. Investing in improving our smoke forecasts is one step towards addressing this problem,” said Congressman Neguse. “Additionally, as COVID-19 continues to impact our communities, we are experiencing the convergence of two monumental threats. We must remain focused on keeping people healthy by understanding the true impact of acute air pollution and COVID-19 together.”

The wildfire amendment can be found here.

In June, Rep. Neguse introduced the 21st Century Conservation Corps for Our Health and Our Jobs Act, which would make historic investments in wildfire prevention and preparedness to protect the health and safety of communities. In April, Rep. Neguse introduced the bipartisan Wildfire Community Health and Response Act, which would require a report to Congress outlining actions taken at the Department of Interior and Agriculture to protect the respiratory health of local communities and firefighters.