from today's E&E Daily:
AIR POLLUTION: EPA's lead rule is overly strict, industry groups argue (04/06/2010)
Robin Bravender, E&E reporter
The national standard for airborne lead pollution is stricter than it needs to be to adequately protect public health, industry groups told a panel of federal judges today.
Attorneys representing the Coalition of Battery Recyclers Association and the Doe Run Resources Corp. asked a three-judge panel of the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia to vacate U.S. EPA's lead standard. When EPA tightened the national air quality standard for lead in 2008, the attorneys argued, the agency went beyond its obligation to set a level not lower or higher than necessary to safeguard public health.
The George W. Bush administration in 2008 revised the federal limits for the toxic metal for the first time in 30 years, reducing allowable airborne lead concentrations to 0.15 micrograms per cubic meter from 1.5 micrograms per cubic meter (Greenwire, Oct. 16, 2008).
Dennis Lane, an attorney representing Doe Run, argued that the standard was too strict because EPA had focused too heavily on children who will be exposed to high lead levels, whereas the agency had identified all children as the entire sensitive population. As a result, greater protection is being provided than required under federal clean air laws, he said.