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EPA Chief to Testify on Air Standards


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From: Wayne Pferdehirt (pferdehi@epd.engr.wisc.edu)
Date: Thu Feb 13 1997 - 10:12:52 CST


Forwarded from SBAP e-mail list:

------- Forwarded Message Follows -------
Date: Wed, 12 Feb 1997 14:33:02 -0600
To: dfowler@staff.legis.state.ia.us
From: "Duncan C. Fowler" <dfowler@staff.legis.state.ia.us>
Subject: EPA Chief to Testify on Air Standards

Here is a Reuters piece on the EPA & Air standards
-------------------------------------------------------------
Wednesday February 12 7:08 AM EST

EPA Chief to Testify on Air Standards

WASHINGTON (Reuter) - Environmental Protection Agency Administrator
Carol Browner was scheduled to testify Wednesday before a Senate panel
on air quality standards.

Browner's appearance before the Senate Environment and Public Works
Committee comes just two days after a federal court gave the EPA an
additional three weeks to issue new air quality standards, giving the
public more time to weigh in on the EPA's controversial proposal.

With the new deadline, the public comment period on the EPA's proposed
soot and smog standards was extended to March 12 and the agency is to
issue a final rule by July 19.

The EPA, at the urging of the National Governors Association, had
asked a U.S. District Court in Arizona to extend the public comment
period and court-imposed deadline on the new air pollution rule by 60
days.

But the American Lung Association, which had sued the EPA in the
Arizona court to force it to review its standard for dust and soot
pollution, had said the agency should be ordered to meet the original
June 28 deadline to issue the rule.

"Although we would have preferred more time, we will obviously comply
with the court's order and complete the public comment period for
proposed ozone and PM standards by March 12," Browner said in a
statement.

Ozone is smog-forming pollution and PM is particulate matter, or soot
and dust, that can penetrate deep into lung tissue.

In one of its most significant moves in recent years, the EPA has
proposed much stricter standards against both types of pollutants
which it said would prolong and improve lives of millions of children,
older people and people with respiratory problems.

But a number of industries, along with some state and local government
officials, have said the rule would cost billions of dollars to
implement and would throw many areas out of compliance with air
quality standards.

The Lung Association in a statement applauded the court's decision.
The ruling "underscores the urgent need for EPA to get on with the
business of protecting the public's health from this serious health
hazard," said Fran Du Melle, the association's deputy managing
director.

Meanwhile at a conference sponsored by a Washington think tank, a
House Republican and frequent EPA critic charged that the agency
bypassed several laws and requirements in proposing the rule, and
threatened to move to abolish the agency.

"If the Marx Brothers regulators over at EPA will not comply with the
laws that are required of them in proposing these regulations, then
maybe its time we take a serious look at a proposal to take away their
license to practice and entrust this vital duty of protecting our
nation's environment to someone else," Rep David McIntosh of Indiana,
a Government Reform and Oversight subcommittee chairman, said.

Earlier at the conference, EPA Administrator Browner said the agency
had followed proper procedures and was supported by myriad scientific
studies.

Browner also said the rule would not have drastic economic effects
predicted by industries, and said many areas could meet the new rules
with fairly modest improvements in pollution controls.


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