EPA’s science advisers have lit into the EPA over the bad soot decision.
The Clean Air Science Advisory Committee (CASAC) has written an unprecedented letter pointing out that alleged “scientist” and EPA chief Steve Johnson ignored their advice to lower the current annual soot standard (15 – see below), noting there is “clear and convincing scientific evidence that significant adverse human health effects occur” at “and below” the current standard.
The advisers also basically charged that Johnson didn’t do his job properly and implied that he violated the Clean Air Act, which demands that EPA set national health standards at a level needed to protect public health “with an adequate margin of safety.”
There is little doubt that this letter will bolster lawsuits against EPA for its industry-friendly and politically driven decision.
Here is a link to the letter, with some key excerpts below:
Here are some excerpts (the italics are in the original):
…there is clear and convincing scientific evidence that significant adverse human-health effects occur in response to short-term and chronic particulate matter exposures at and below 15 μg/m3, the level of the current annual PM2.5 standard.
It is the CASAC’s consensus scientific opinion that the decision to retain without change the annual PM2.5 standard does not provide an “adequate margin of safety … requisite to protect the public health” (as required by the Clean Air Act), leaving parts of the population of this country at significant risk of adverse health effects from exposure to fine PM.
Significantly, we wish to point out that the CASAC’s recommendations were consistent with the mainstream scientific advice that EPA received from virtually every major medical association and public health organization that provided their input to the Agency, including the American Medical Association, the American Thoracic Society, the American Lung Association, the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American College of Cardiology, the American Heart Association, the American Cancer Society, the American Public Health Association, and the National Association of Local Boards of Health. Indeed, to our knowledge there is no science, medical or public health group that disagrees with this very important aspect of the CASAC’s recommendations. EPA’s recent “expert elicitation” study (Expanded Expert Judgment Assessment of the Concentration-Response Relationship Between PM2.5 Exposure and Mortality, September 21, 2006) only lends additional support to our conclusions concerning the adverse human health effects of PM2.5.