Sunday, July 24, 2011

White House begins review of national air standards for carbon monoxide

Here is an item perhaps lost in the shuffle over big polluter opposition to any strengthening of national clean air standards for ozone, or smog:

The White House Office of Management and Budget has also begun reviewing a final EPA decision on national clean air standard for another widespread pollutant – carbon monoxide -- a pollutant deadly at high levels. (It is so toxic that the ancient Greeks and Romans used it to execute people.)

As you may recall, EPA’s science advisers urged the agency to set tougher new national outdoor air standards for this pollutant.$File/EPA-CASAC-10-013-unsigned.pdf

The scientists noted that air pollution levels of carbon monoxide have dropped over time (thanks largely to catalytic converters on cars). But they still urged tougher standards that reflect modern research.

But the EPA proposed in February to keep existing standards.

Public health experts have testified that EPA’s proposal blew it – and that agency should set tougher clean air standards.

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