When I viewed "Coal Country," a film by Mari-Lynn Evans and Phylis Geller at the Enoch Pratt Free Library in downtown Baltimore, I knew I would be a part of an effort to change the way Baltimore breathes.

That evening, I shared that my tonsils and adenoids were removed and the difficulty I had most of my life with them. Having them removed made breathing a lot better. However, the quality of the air did not change.

I now live in an area of Baltimore County (Dundalk) that is primarily industrial and is grossly affected by environmental pollution. Baltimore has the highest rates of both childhood and adult asthma in the state, higher than the national average, and Maryland suffers from the worst air quality on the East Coast with more than 85 percent of Marylanders living in areas with unsafe air.

I trust that the Maryland Department of the Environment will stand up for our families' health and hold these and other polluters accountable by requiring the power plants to install and use state-of-the-art technology to limit dangerous pollution.

It is also my hope that all those who are concerned about this issue lend a hand and an ear to see that the children breathe cleaner air now and in the future.

Velma Skinner-Bisiriyu, Dundalk

-
To respond to this letter, send an email to talkback@baltimoresun.com. Please include your name and contact information.