Office of Rep. Marilyn Strickland announcement.
Representative Marilyn Strickland (WA-10), Senator Edward J. Markey (D-MA), Senator Alex Padilla (D-CA), Senator Kyrsten Sinema (I-AZ), Rep. Suzanne Bonamici (OR-01) and Rep. Ruben Gallego (AZ-03) reintroduced the Preventing Health Emergencies And Temperature-related (HEAT) Illness and Deaths Act to address the rising health risks of extreme heat following Earth’s hottest day on record.
“As we learned from the 2021 Heat Domes, we must actively pursue short-term solutions to save lives during heat waves, in conjunction with long-term steps towards saving our planet,” said Representative Strickland. “The Preventing HEAT Illness and Deaths Act will address the dangers of extreme summer temperatures on human health and equip communities with the ability to combat the heat-health crisis.”
“It’s no coincidence that we’ve seen back-to-back record-breaking heat this summer—it’s the climate crisis announcing it’s at our doorstep. We need to take bold and aggressive action to combat the climate crisis, but we also need to act fast to protect Americans from the health risks of extreme heat that we are experiencing right now,” said Senator Markey. “My legislation would direct $100 million in federal funding to help local communities on the frontlines of the climate crisis stave off the worst outcomes of heat-related illness. As unprecedented waves of sweltering heat persist, I will keep calling on my colleagues in Congress to pass the Preventing HEAT Illness and Deaths Act and create a national response to save lives.”
“As Americans continue to face extreme, record-breaking heat waves, we must do everything in our power to prevent heat-related illnesses and deaths,” said Senator Padilla. “This legislation will address the rising health risks of extreme heat by providing critical funding for community projects and enhancing interagency coordination so we can ensure our communities are prepared and protected – particularly low-income communities and communities of color who are bearing the brunt of this escalating crisis.”
“We’re protecting Arizonans from heat-related illnesses and deaths as our communities face dangerous heat,” said Senator Sinema.
“Heat-related deaths are preventable, tragic, and too common,” said Representative Bonamici. “July is on track to be the hottest month ever recorded. Many states are seeing record temperatures, and the Pacific Northwest is experiencing unseasonably warm weather and bracing for the possibility of another deadly heat dome. We can save lives, and we must do so quickly. The Preventing HEAT Illness and Deaths Act would strengthen interagency response efforts to address extreme heat and protect Oregonians and Americans, especially workers, seniors, and marginalized groups who are at the greatest risk from these heat emergencies.”
“Arizonans are used to the heat, but this summer’s rising temperatures underscore the pressing need to assist our communities in reducing heat-related emergencies,” said Representative Gallego. “Combatting extreme heat remains one of my top priorities, and that’s why I’m proud to co-lead the Preventing HEAT Illness and Deaths Act. This bill builds on my continued efforts to keep Arizonans cool and safe.”
Earlier this month, nearly one in three Americans were under an extreme heat advisory or warning. Prolonged exposure to this kind of heat can have dangerous consequences for human health, including heat exhaustion, heat stroke, and even death. The Preventing HEAT Illness and Deaths Act would improve and expand interagency efforts, provide $100 million in financial assistance for community projects to reduce exposure to extreme heat, and issue recommendations for federal action on heat-health issues.
Cosponsors in the Senate include Senators Rob Wyden (D-OR.), Richard Blumenthal (D-CO.), Bernie Sanders (I-VT), and Dianne Feinstein (D-CA.).
Cosponsors in the House include Representatives Nanette Barragan (CA-44), Earl Blumenauer (OR-03), Adriano Espaillat (NY-13), Jerry Nadler (NY-12), Bonnie, Watson Coleman (NJ-12), Jennifer McClellan (VA-04), Eleanor Holmes Norton (DC), Kathy Castor (FL-14), Barbara Lee (CA-12), Alma Adams (NC-12), Bobby Scott (VA-03), Brittany Pettersen (CO-07), Kevin Mullin (CA-15), Ro Khanna (CA-17), Dina Titus (NV-01), Raul Ruiz (CA-25), Doris Matsui (CA-07), and Andrea Salinas (OR-06), Mike Levin (CA-49), Tony Cárdenas (CA-29).
Preventing HEAT Illness and Deaths Act has been endorsed by Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS), League of Conservation Voters (LCV), American Public Health Association, Public Health Institute, American Academy of Pediatrics, Adrienne Arsht -Rockefeller Foundation Resilience Center, Climate Psychiatry Alliance, Alliance of Nurses for Healthy Environments, Virginia Clinicians for Climate Action.