Monday, October 09, 2006

Has EPA official become a modern-day Pinocchio?

Has EPA's William Wehrum become a modern-day Pinocchio? On October 7, the Los Angeles Times published a report on EPA's economic analysis of it soot rule and a better alternative.

The story included the results of an assessment by an expert panel, which found that EPA could have prevented as many as 24,000 premature deaths a year by setting a better standard.

Wehrum, the former Latham & Watkins lawyer who is EPA's acting chief for air pollution (the Senate won't confirm him) contended that his boss, EPA Administrator Steve Johnson, didn't know about this assessment when he set the standards. (See link to LA Times story and relevant excerpt, below.)

Whoa there, Bill, is your nose growing? EPA put this study on the internet and in its official docket the same day it announced the decision (which has been panned by EPA's own science advisers).

Or are you suggesting that this new evidence should prompt EPA to reconsider its bad decision?


...Acting assistant EPA administrator William Wehrum, who worked with Johnson on the new rules, said Friday that the new analysis was not ready when Johnson made his decision, so it was not included as part of that process. But it would be helpful in future regulations, he said, adding that Johnson and agency staff "absolutely considered impacts to human health."

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