Thursday, October 16, 2014

Congressional Research Service: Take a Deep Breath Before Believing Cost Claims About New EPA Smog Standard

The nonpartisan (and thoughtful!) Congressional Research Service is out with a new report about EPA's expected upcoming health standard for ozone, or smog.  It is really worth reading, especially in light of the hysterical industry attacks on EPA about the alleged cost of any change in the standard.

As the CRS notes:

...even after a proposal is signed, cost estimates will be little better than guesses.

Why? Three reasons: the long implementation period; the unpredictable pace of technology development; and the decentralized nature of compliance decisions.

Thursday, October 09, 2014

Throwback Thursday: Almost 5 Years Ago, EPA Said Current Smog Standard Was so Weak....

...That the agency would not even solicit public comments on keeping it.  EPA then was attempting to correct a polluter-friendly decision made by the Bush Administration.

As we all know, the EPA, then run by Lisa Jackson, was told in 2011 by the Obama White House to stand down for political reasons. 

Before the political plug was pulled, here was EPA's proposal in January 2010:

….the Administrator concludes that a standard set as high as 0.075 would not be considered requisite to protect public health with an adequate margin of safety, and that consideration of lower levels is warranted.

…the Administrator proposes to set the level of the 8-hour primary O3 standard to within a range of 0.060 to 0.070 ppm…She solicits comment on this range.

We eagerly await the upcoming, court-ordered Dec. 1 deadline for a new proposal, to see how the current EPA handles not only the earlier medical evidence, but newer studies which show smog is even a bigger public health threat than previously acknowledged.

We hope politics isn't a factor again since this is, after all, a serious public health issue.