Monday, April 19, 2010

Polluters recruit some "progressive" Democratic senators to water down EPA toxic air pollution standards

The EPA next week is under a court order to come out with new proposed standards to limit toxic emissions from industrial boilers. See brief item, below from Greenwire, for a bit of background.

Potentially affected industries are lobbying furiously against tougher requirements.

Fox example, ExxonMobil and other industry lobbyists opposed to EPA met with the White House April 9.

The lobbyists presented a letter on their behalf, signed by Democratic senators including Sherrod Brown, Mark Warner and Jim Webb, as well as by some more conservative Republicans including Kit Bond, George Voinovich and John Cornyn.

They are basically lobbying to water down the EPA rules, which are designed to reduce emissions linked to cancer and other bad health effects.

AIR POLLUTION: EPA gets 2-week extension for draft boiler rule (04/16/2010)
Robin Bravender, E&E reporter
U.S. EPA has received a two-week extension on its court deadline for proposing hazardous air pollution standards for boilers and process heaters, an agency spokeswoman said yesterday.

EPA was facing a legal deadline to issue the draft rule by April 15 aimed at cutting mercury and other toxic air pollution from industrial, commercial and institutional boilers and process heaters. But the deadline has been pushed to April 29, the EPA spokeswoman said.

Such boilers, which burn coal and other fuels to generate heat or electricity, are used by petroleum refiners, chemical and manufacturing plants, paper mills and other facilities.

The George W. Bush administration issued a boiler standard in 2004, but that rule was tossed out by a federal appeals court. EPA estimated then that the rule would cover 58,000 existing boilers and 800 new boilers built annually in the following five years.

Representatives of some industry sectors fear that EPA's rules will be overly restrictive.

Lobbyists for oil and gas companies, automobile manufacturers and forest-product producers went to the White House Office of Management and Budget last month to warn officials that EPA's upcoming draft rules may be too strict and could cause a host of facilities to shutter their doors (Greenwire, April 8).

Environmental groups, meanwhile, accuse industry of asking the administration to illegally water down the air toxics standards.


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