Clean Air Watch

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Thursday, October 16, 2014

Congressional Research Service: Take a Deep Breath Before Believing Cost Claims About New EPA Smog Standard

The nonpartisan (and thoughtful!) Congressional Research Service is out with a new report about EPA's expected upcoming health standard for ozone, or smog.  It is really worth reading, especially in light of the hysterical industry attacks on EPA about the alleged cost of any change in the standard.

As the CRS notes:

...even after a proposal is signed, cost estimates will be little better than guesses.

Why? Three reasons: the long implementation period; the unpredictable pace of technology development; and the decentralized nature of compliance decisions.

Thursday, October 09, 2014

Throwback Thursday: Almost 5 Years Ago, EPA Said Current Smog Standard Was so Weak....

...That the agency would not even solicit public comments on keeping it.  EPA then was attempting to correct a polluter-friendly decision made by the Bush Administration.

As we all know, the EPA, then run by Lisa Jackson, was told in 2011 by the Obama White House to stand down for political reasons. 

Before the political plug was pulled, here was EPA's proposal in January 2010:

….the Administrator concludes that a standard set as high as 0.075 would not be considered requisite to protect public health with an adequate margin of safety, and that consideration of lower levels is warranted.

…the Administrator proposes to set the level of the 8-hour primary O3 standard to within a range of 0.060 to 0.070 ppm…She solicits comment on this range.

We eagerly await the upcoming, court-ordered Dec. 1 deadline for a new proposal, to see how the current EPA handles not only the earlier medical evidence, but newer studies which show smog is even a bigger public health threat than previously acknowledged.

We hope politics isn't a factor again since this is, after all, a serious public health issue.

Monday, September 29, 2014

That Was the Week That Was (TW3) for Clean Air

[With fond viewer memories of the late Ned Sherrin and David Frost]

It is so difficult in this breathless, breaking-news-tweet-every-moment era to put matters in perspective.
We are going to give this a shot in a brief look back at clean-air events during the week past.  This is not meant by any means to be all-encompassing, so please forgive any omissions.
Oops – carbon emissions have crept up!  Perhaps the best news for the White House in this Energy Department report was that it came out on Friday.
Sure, it showed encouraging trends for renewable energy, but it also showed energy-related carbon emissions went up during the first six months of this year, the second year in a row, up 6% since 2012.  That’s not how the “narrative” is supposed to go! As The Washington Post put it, “The Obama administration appears to be losing ground in its efforts to cut U.S. emissions of greenhouse gases.”

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Learn more about the Clean Air Act

The Clean Air Act is the law that defines EPA's responsibilities for protecting and improving the nation's air quality and the stratospheric ozone layer. The last major change in the law, the Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990, was enacted by Congress in 1990. Legislation passed since then has made several minor changes.