Monday, February 12, 2007

Here they go again: the Bush team cooks up another way to create dirty-air loopholes for smokestack industries

It only seems like a broken record.

But once again, the Bush administration has cooked up another way to create dirty-air loopholes for smokestack industries.

This time, it’s a concept called a “flexible air permit.” The idea is to permit industries to make continuing changes at a factory without further outside scrutiny after an initial permit review.

The White House Office of Management and Budget reports it began reviewing EPA’s proposal on this last week. (See at http://www.reginfo.gov/public/do/eoViewRule?ruleID=270932 )

EPA says it wants to reduce administrative “friction.” We’d be happier if they seemed more concerned about reducing pollution!

(This sort of “flexible” rule carries with it the possible loss of public scrutiny of factory changes, and also could mean weaker pollution controls over the long haul.)

Our friend, John Walke of NRDC, perhaps knows more about this than anyone else.

Just remember: flexibility is great for yoga, but it’s usually bad for breathers – especially if the polluter gets to be “flexible.”

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