WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Jacky Rosen (D-NV) announced her co-sponsorship of the Wildfire Smoke Emergency Declaration Act, legislation that would allow the president of the United States to declare a “smoke emergency” when wildfire smoke creates hazardous air quality conditions.
“Last month, Nevada recorded the worst air quality index levels on record due to the toxic smoke caused by wildfires. This summer, we’ve seen Nevada schools closed, COVID vaccine clinics cancel appointments, and local airports ground flights, all because of the dangerous impact of hazardous wildfire smoke,” said Senator Rosen. “The high concentration of fine particulate matter in the smoke-filled air can worsen illnesses like asthma and heart disease and make healthy lungs more susceptible to illnesses like COVID-19. I’m proud to co-sponsor this legislation, which would allow the president to declare an emergency, authorizing federal agencies to take action and assist communities in need. As Nevada navigates through this challenging wildfire season, I will continue fighting to bring resources and support to the Silver State.”
BACKGROUND: The Wildfire Smoke Emergency Declaration Act would allow the president to declare a “smoke emergency” when wildfire smoke creates hazardous air quality conditions. This declaration would authorize federal agencies to provide emergency assistance to states and local communities to establish smoke shelters, assist with relocation efforts, and install emergency smoke monitors. The bill would also authorize the Small Business Administration to provide financial relief to businesses affected by wildfire smoke to help cover lost revenue.