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EPA Takes Critical Step to Cut Methane Pollution to Protect Health

December 2nd, 2023

Cara Cook
Director of Programs
Alliance of Nurses for Healthy Environments

EPA Takes Critical Step to Cut Methane Pollution to Protect Health 

[Washington, D.C] – On December 2nd, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released their final rule to cut methane pollution from the oil and gas sector – an important step forward in protecting health from dangerous air pollution and climate change. 

Methane is a potent greenhouse gas that has more than 80 times the warming power of carbon dioxide over the short term. Reducing its impact is critical for efforts to reduce warming. An estimated 17.3 million people and 3.9 million children across the country live within half a mile of oil and gas facilities, which is associated with higher risk of health harms. 

In response to the announcement of the finalized rule, the Alliance of Nurses for Healthy Environments Executive Director Katie Huffling, DNP, RN, CNM, FAAN issued the following statement: 

“We thank the Biden Administration for their commitment to cutting methane pollution. As nurses, we know that methane pollution from oil and gas development is released alongside other dangerous pollutants, such as volatile organic compounds (VOCs) which can worsen asthma, cardiovascular disease and respiratory disease as well as toxic air pollutants such as benzene and toluene which are known to cause cancer. Having critical and enforceable safeguards in place will help  protect those living on the frontlines of dangerous oil and gas pollution.  

“While world leaders are gathering at COP28 this week, the release of the final methane rule demonstrates that the United States is committed to climate action. Nurses look forward to working with EPA to ensure that the strongest possible safeguards are implemented so that communities will gain the tangible health, climate, and environmental benefits from this rule.” 


The Alliance of Nurses for Healthy Environments is the only national nursing organization focused solely on the intersection of health and the environment. The mission of the Alliance is to promote healthy people and healthy environments by educating and leading the nursing profession, advancing research, incorporating evidence-based practice, and influencing policy.