Monday, August 15, 2011

What the h is happening with EPA air standards for carbon monoxide?

As you may recall, EPA was under a court deadline to make a decision by last Friday on whether to revise national air quality standards for carbon monoxide.

The OMB web site notes that OMB cleared the rule for takeoff on August 12. But so far, EPA has been silent. (Though it issued press releases for nine other issues that day – see below.)

As we reminded people recently, 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. Is that the final decision – blowing off the science advisers as did the much-criticized Bush EPA? Does that account for the lack of fanfare?

And is this a precedent for the much more controversial ozone standard? Let’s hope not.

EPA Press Releases Issued 8/12/2011

1. EPA Update on Yellowstone River Oil Spill (Silvertip Pipeline), August 12th, 2011 2. EPA Announces 2011 Great Lakes Restoration Initiative grants in Traverse City, Michigan 3. Lincoln, Neb., Selected to Receive Green Design Assistance 4. EPA to Begin Air Sampling at the Capital City Plume Site in Montgomery, AL 5. EPA Seeks Input on the Development of Drinking Water Perchlorate Regulation 6. EPA Issues Rule on Carbamate Wastes 7. EPA Partnering with State Capitals on Green Design and Economic Revitalization 8. EPA Provides District of Columbia with Green Design Assistance 9. EPA and National Park Service to Host Community Dialogue about Environmental Justice at Clark Atlanta University

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