American Lung Association – Remembering Janice Nolen

A nationally recognized air quality expert and author of key air quality reports has died. Janice Nolen, a longtime American Lung Association official, died at her home on April 15, 2020. Ms. Nolen directed the Lung Association’s actions in air quality regulatory advocacy and litigation. Her work in this area resulted in the strengthening of the national air quality standards for ozone and particle pollution. She led the National Radon Action Plan Leadership Council that developed the U.S. National Radon Action Plan to reduce radon risk in five million homes. She formerly served on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Clean Air Act Advisory Committee.

Editor’s note: The NTAA is deeply saddened by the loss of Janice Nolen. She was a great advocate for clean air and friend of the NTAA. If you would like to offer well-wishes and condolences to Janice’s family, please consider the following sites:

To honor Janice’s memory, the American Lung Association has created the Janice E. Nolen Healthy Air Internship, ensuring younger professionals continue the important work of protecting our nation’s air quality. If you would like to make a donation in memory of Janice Nolen, your gift will continue Janice’s legacy with this dedicated internship to mentor young advocates.


The American Lung Association has released the 2020 State of the Air Report.

According to ALA, “This report is dedicated to Janice E. Nolen, the leading force behind the history of this report and a tireless champion of lung health and healthy air.” This year marks the 50th anniversary of the Clean Air Act, which is responsible for dramatic improvements in air quality. Despite this, a new report from the American Lung Association finds nearly half of the nation’s population – 150 million people – lived with and breathed polluted air, placing their health and lives at risk. The 21st annual “State of the Air” report finds that climate change continues to make air pollution worse, with many western communities again experiencing record-breaking spikes in particle pollution due to wildfires. Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the impact of air pollution on lung health is of heightened concern. The 2020 “State of the Air” report analyzed data from 2016, 2017 and 2018, the three years with the most recent quality-assured air pollution data. Notably, those three years were among the five hottest recorded in global history.


Coronavirus Virtual Town Hall: Improving Health within Our Communities, Wednesday, April 22, 2:00 PM – 3:00 PM, Eastern Time

The Johns Hopkins Center for American Indian Health and Indian Health Service will hold a virtual town hall meeting on April 22 and 29 from 2-3 pm EDT. Target audience: Public health nurses, community health representatives (CHR), health educators, and others working on the frontlines of COVID-19 prevention in Indian Country. Objectives include:

  • Understand the current state of COVID-19 disease
  • Highlight community-based response activities
  • Provide information on key resources

With an opportunity for Q & A with the experts. Register for the webinar here.


The National Association of Clean Air Agencies releases a “Clean Air Educational Activities and Resources” document

In response to COVID-19 and the closure of schools across America, federal, state, local and Tribal clean air agencies are making available educational activities and resources to teachers, parents and students providing opportunities for continued learning while staying safe at home. This document lists some of the outstanding educational resources that have been made available. We will continue to update this list as we learn about more educational resources.



Ambient Air Quality/EPA/NTAA/Tribes

New York Times – 50 Years of Earth Day: What’s Better Today, and what’s worse


Indian Country Today – EPA rejects Obama-era rules on air quality; critics cite COVID-19 link


Safety and Health Magazine – Amid COVID-19 pandemic, lawmakers urge EPA to extend comment periods


Medium – The Most Quiet of Killers


EPA – EPA Finalizes MATS Supplemental Cost Finding and “Risk and Technology Review”


NY Times – E.P.A. Weakens Controls on Mercury


The Hill – Green groups, coal companies push to have EPA power plant rollback scrapped


AP – ‘They’re killing us,’ Texas residents say of Trump rollbacks


NPR – 10 Years after Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill, Industry Says It’s Better Prepared


Anchorage Daily News – Pebble mine opponents lose court case over 2014 EPA report


Reuters – A breath of fresh air


NPR – Climate Change Undercuts Air Pollution Improvements


EPA – Children’s Healthy Learning Environments Grant Initiative RFA June 2020


EPA – EPA Announces Coronavirus (COVID-19) Resources for State, Local, and Tribal Governments


Indianz – Indigenous celebrate victory against Dakota Access Pipeline, but remain wary of Judge Boasberg


Utility Dive – 14 states press EPA to rescind coronavirus-driven enforcement policy as NGOs file lawsuit


National Association of Clean Air Agencies – Washington Update


Climate Change/Energy

NY Times – A crash course on climate change, 50 years after the first Earth Day


Reuters – Coronavirus crisis threatens to cut off clean electricity lifeline for poor


The New Yorker – The Coronavirus and Climate Change, the Great Crises of Our Time


NBC News – Is fungus the answer to climate change? Student who grew a mushroom canoe says yes.


Grist – Can ‘carbon-smart’ farming play a key role in taking on climate change?


Reuters – With bees on decline, mechanical pollination may be solution


Huffpost – The Fight to Stop Fossil Fuel Financing Is Poised To Get Some Powerful New Allies


Ensia – How Can We Best Protect Our Global Life-Support System In Times Like These?


Ensia – Three Workable Strategies for Putting a Big Dent in Methane, the “Other” Greenhouse Gas


E&E News – CEO: Oil drilling, fracking could drop another 60%


E&E News – BLM reviews CO2 pipelines, but will anyone build them?


E&E News – How the pandemic upended climate politics


NY Times – The ‘Profoundly Radical’ Message of Earth Day’s First Organizer


ENN – Stanford Researchers Find Methane Lakes from U.S. Water Heaters Are High, But Fixable


Toxics/Mobile Sources

Santa Maria Times – Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Indians named Waste Wise ‘Partner of the Year’ by EPA


BBC – Climate change: ‘Bath sponge’ breakthrough could boost cleaner cars


Bloomberg – Electric Vehicles Buoyed by a Backlog and Fresh Air


E&E News – Economic toll endangers key climate goal: Cleaner cars


High Country News – Uranium mining threatens our home, the Grand Canyon


Indoor Air Quality

Inhabitant – How clean is your indoor air?


Be sure to subscribe to EPA’s IAQ Bulletins