The American Lung Association is deeply disappointed by the court decision to strike down the Environmental Protection Agency’s Cross-State Air Pollution Rule, which would have required the cleanup of coal-fired power plants (“Mainers see EPA court ruling as a ‘tremendous setback,”‘ Aug. 21).

This is a tremendous setback for the health of residents across our region, especially children and seniors.

Maine Sens. Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins joined the Northeast’s entire Senate delegation in voting to defend this life-saving rule last year, proving once again that healthy air is not a Democratic issue or a Republican issue, but a common-sense issue of protecting public health and lowering health costs for everyone.

The Cross-State Air Pollution Rule is particularly important to Northeast states due to our geographic vulnerability to air currents from the south and west. Toxic air pollutants can lead to asthma attacks, lung and heart disease, cancer and premature death. No parent wants his child needlessly exposed to this level of risk, especially when the pollution is produced 10 states away.

Almost half of the people in Maine live in counties with fair to poor air quality, according to the American Lung Association’s 2012 State of the Air Report. This is primarily the result of out-of-state polluters dumping their dirty air in our backyard.

Our air quality affects our health, our ability to work and our opportunities for recreation. Unhealthy air also costs us millions of dollars annually in avoidable health care costs to individuals, government and businesses.

How much longer are we going to allow polluters to spew their toxic emissions and send them to the Northeast, while we pay the price?

We urge the EPA to appeal the court’s decision.

Jeff Seyler

president and CEO, American Lung Association of the Northeast

Augusta

Unfounded report prompts invasive state investigation

I am writing in regards to an incident that is not only wasting taxpayers’ money but is an invasion of privacy and can cause unnecessary distress especially to senior citizens. Gov. LePage may be right about our constitutional rights being compromised.

With no credible grounds for suspicion, only our withdrawing wired money for some bills, our local bank, which my mother and I (both senior citizens) had accounts in for years, reported us to Adult Protective Services to be investigated.

When we confronted the bank officers, they said they were told by APS to report any unusual activity in accounts because APS was trying to make banks mandatory reporters.

APS’ approach was not to the point, and many personal and inappropriate questions were asked. Apparently, with no grounds and on any bogus referrals, APS will investigate citizens.

No one should have to go through this invasion and probing over unfounded and inappropriate reports.

The supervisor at APS said they get about 25 of the same type of referrals to investigate daily.

This can happen to anyone. Is this what taxpayers are paying for – to pay social workers to travel all over the state on wild goose chases?

I have contacted my legislator to help amend inappropriate financial reporting. I hope I can spare others from enduring this needless invasion of their rights and needless distress.

Marie Tupper

Boothbay Harbor

Newspaper must correct errors, not amplify them

It’s great to have any member of the New York City Council, even its lesser lights, enjoy our seafood bounty here in Maine (“NYC councilman highlights Liberty Caucus clambake,” Aug. 20).

But The Portland Press Herald should not amplify the nonsense of folks who linger too long over steaming seaweed. According to the article’s subhead, “Dan Halloran cites Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s effort to limit soda sizes as one of the Democrats’ ‘crazy ideas.’ “

Is this the same Michael Bloomberg who spent eight years as New York City’s Republican mayor, and now calls himself an independent? Perhaps it’s a crazy idea to think that politicians might separate fact from fiction, but the news media should be up to the task.

Mark McCain

Portland

Main break soaks homes; residents on hook for fixes

On Aug. 2 at 4:30 a.m., we were woken up by the Portland Fire Department. There was a water main break on our street.

The water was a foot deep in the street and flowed into our garage and basement. We were in the process of remodeling our bathroom, and all the supplies were in the garage.

The water also went into our finished room in the basement and ruined the carpet.

As well, the drywall in the garage had to be cut down because of water damage and the insulation was taken away.

We were told to submit a claim to the Portland Water District by a water district employee. So I did, and it was denied by the insurance company.

These were the exact words from the insurance company: It “is not responsible for the damages because it was an unforeseen event. A governmental agency must have prior calls or complaints and not have addressed those problems to be held negligent.”

Are we supposed to have ESP and call the water district and say, “You better get over here and take care of this pipe because I think it is going to break”?

We lost $7,000 worth of property. We also had to rebuy all the bathroom supplies. So the water district gets off scot-free and the homeowners are stuck with all the repairs and bills.

I was told that the water district does not get any funding from the city and that it depends on the ratepayers for all its income. There are 15 homeowners on Bancroft and Wolcott streets who have lost thousands of dollars. Who is going to help all of us?

Richard Paglio

Portland