Press Release

#SubEnvironment to Examine the Impact Wildfires Have on Air Quality


WASHINGTON, DC – The Environment Subcommittee, chaired by Rep. John Shimkus (R-IL), today announced a hearing for Wednesday, October 4, 2017, at 10 a.m. in room 2123 of the Rayburn House Office Building. The hearing is entitled, “Air Quality Impacts of Wildfires: Perspectives of Key Stakeholders.”

Considering the devastating and widespread wildfires out West this summer, #SubEnvironment will examine the impacts these wildfires have on air quality and emissions in the affected areas and across the country. Members will also look at how better management of our forests is needed to avoid and minimize catastrophic wildfires. For example, prescribed burns and fuel reduction are important forestry management tools in preventing uncontrolled wildfires, and the resulting air emissions.

“Year after year, catastrophic wildfires rage on federal lands, including parts of my district, and our skies are choked with smoke throughout the West. Air quality issues in my home state continue to rise to dangerous levels because of these fires, forcing cancellations of community events, school closures, and lost tourism dollars,” said full committee Chairman Greg Walden (R-OR). “Enough is enough. It’s time that decisions about when and how to fight these fires take into account the impact they have on air quality and human health. I’m looking forward to hearing from our panel of witnesses on what our nation can do to better prepare, manage, and fight these fires.”

“This subcommittee has been at the forefront of important reforms that improve the environment, the economy, and the public health,” added #SubEnvironment Chairman Shimkus. “Next week’s hearing will provide our members the opportunity to learn more about how uncontrolled forest fires are impacting the quality of the air we breathe and examine potential solutions to mitigate future catastrophic fires.”

The Majority Memorandum, witness list, and witness testimony can be found online HERE.


Press Release