Sen. Blumenthal pushes HEAT Act to prevent hot weather deaths

It would provide local communities millions of dollars to add air conditioning, improve energy efficiency and keep people safe during extreme heat waves.

John Craven and Emily Knapton

Jun 21, 2024, 8:45 PM

Updated 28 days ago

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Sen. Blumenthal pushes HEAT Act to prevent hot weather deaths
As temperatures get close to 100 degrees across Connecticut, Sen. Richard Blumenthal is pushing Congress to pass the “HEAT Act.”
It would provide local communities millions of dollars to add air conditioning, improve energy efficiency and keep people safe during extreme heat waves.
“IT WAS BRUTAL”
Dozens of kids from Darien escaped Friday’s sizzling heat with a round of mini-golf at Norwalk’s Calf Pasture Beach.
“Two days ago, it was brutal,” said Sean McGahren, who helped organize the outing. “I was in New Hampshire, and we were coming home and we hit the heat wave on the way home in the car. Had no A/C and it was terrible.” While the heat wave may be fun for kids, it can be deadly for others – especially the elderly or people with no air conditioning.
“We take for granted that people can survive hot weather, but in fact, many people are vulnerable during this time,” Blumenthal told reporters outside the state Capitol.
“HEAT ACT”
Blumenthal urged Congress to pass the "HEAT Act,” which stands for “Preventing Health Emergencies And Temperature-related Illnesses.” It would send $100 million to communities to add air conditioning to homes and buildings, increase tree coverage in urban areas, make roofs more energy efficient and even keep sidewalks from getting so hot. “There is technology that reduces heat from pavements or roofs,” said Blumenthal. “Better air conditioning, more reliable and efficient use of energy.”
Projects in low-income areas, especially urban “heat islands” where few people own air conditioners, would get priority. Communities could also use the money for public awareness campaigns. The HEAT Act would coordinate all these efforts under a new National Integrated Heat Health Information System (NIHHIS) Interagency Committee.
The legislation was first introduced last summer.
Across the country, extreme heat kills around 600 people per year, and sends more than 67,000 to the emergency room.


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