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  • Saturday, October 22, 2005

    EPA: Love that pollution

    What is the argument to be used? Is it that the U.S. economy is so bloody fragile that industry needs to be allowed to destroy our future (real) wealth? Is it that we need to kill the planet as fast as possible so that, during the second coming of Jesus, God will send us all to hell for proving what piss-poor stewards of the land we are? Is it a love of disease? A love of destruction? From American Progress:

    Last week, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) quietly issued a draft of new regulations that would further relax pollution controls on power plants. The EPA currently assess a power plant's annual pollution emissions; under the new rules, the EPA would instead judge plants by their hourly rate of pollution. That means plants can pollute more just by operating longer hours. Both "environmentalists and some of the EPA's own lawyers said the move will undermine one of the agency's most effective means of forcing aging utilities to install new anti-pollution technology when they expand or modernize." This new action is only the latest effort by the Bush administration to roll back pollution standards at the expense of clean air and water.

    The new emission rules will also "undercut lawsuits aimed at forcing companies to comply with the Clean Air Act." The new EPA draft regulation, for example, would make it almost impossible to enforce the rule that requires older power plants to install cleaner technology when they expand. In an August 25 memo leaked to the Washington Post, the EPA's air enforcement division director warned the new rule would "adversely impact our enforcement cases and is largely unenforceable as written."

    The EPA allowed the power plant industry to draft entire sections of the rules which were supposed to regulate them. In April 2003, the Washington Post did a side-by-side comparison of the EPA's new pollutions rules and two memos written by the law firm Latham & Watkins, which represents industry. The paper found at least a dozen paragraphs in the newly relaxed EPA regulations which had been lifted word-for-word from the industry suggestions.

    Allowing power plants to pollute the air has a steep price, paid for by the public in asthma attacks, mercury poisoning and even premature death. For example, Mercury harms the nervous system of infants, causing serious birth defects and learning disabilities. The EPA's own Children's Health Protection Advisory Committee reported last year that the industry-friendly EPA mercury rules do "not sufficiently protect our nation's children." A recent study by a different team of EPA scientists "nearly doubled the estimate of newborn children at risk for health problems because of unsafe mercury levels in their blood."


    At 10/23/2005 11:13:00 pm, Blogger Jez said...

    Pure greed? Although that probably won't be the argument...


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