August 29, 2003

GAO: EPA Lacked Data for Pollution Claims

(8/26/03) The US General Accounting Office (GAO), Congress'
investigative arm, has pursued the ugly truths
concealed with this illegitimate, incompetent and
corrupt administration's web of lies on several
subjects For example, the U.S. GAO debunked their
false claims that the Clinton-Gore staff trashed the
White House on their way out. More importantly, the
U.S. GAO has sued VICE _resident Cheney to shed the
light on his secret meetings from the Bush cabal's
Enron-infused "Energy plan" was produced. Now they
have revealed the prostituting of the EPA. If they do not blink, when the
history of this grim period of US history is written,
these dedicated public servants will be revered as
resistance fighters and defenders of the US

GAO: EPA Lacked Data for Pollution Claims
Tue Aug 26, 8:51 AM ET Add Politics - AP to My Yahoo!

By JOHN HEILPRIN, Associated Press Writer

WASHINGTON - Congressional investigators say the
Environmental Protection Agency (news - web sites)
relied on anecdotes from industries it regulates, not
comprehensive data, when it claimed that relaxing air
pollution rules for industrial plants would cut
emissions and reduce health risks.

The General Accounting Office (news - web sites), the
investigative arm of Congress, said in a report Monday
that EPA lacked scientific evidence for its claims
that the Clean Air Act's "new source review" program
needed revising because it discourages
energy-efficiency improvements at plants.

EPA eased pollution-control requirements for
utilities, oil companies and manufacturers in December
but is reconsidering parts of those final rules now.

"Because it lacked comprehensive data, EPA relied on
anecdotes from the four industries it believes are
most affected," the GAO said. "Because the information
is anecdotal, EPA's findings do not necessarily
represent the program's effects across the industries
subject to the program."

EPA planned to announce more changes to the program
Wednesday to allow many of the nation's dirtiest
coal-burning power plants and other industrial
facilities to claim more upgrades as "routine
maintenance" that do not require more
emissions-cutting devices.

Agency officials agreed with the report's
recommendation that they should find appropriate data
to track results of rule changes as federal and state
authorities implement them. Agency spokeswoman Lisa
Harrison said EPA intends "to establish and strengthen
mechanisms" for judging the program's success.

"The bottom line is that EPA remains committed to
improving the NSR program, and our improvements will
make the Clean Air Act work better to protect public
health," she said.

Jeffrey Marks, director of air quality policy for the
National Association of Manufacturers (news - web
sites), said better data generally leads to better
regulation, but his group believes EPA was correct to
conclude its rule changes provided economic,
environmental and energy efficiency benefits despite
the lack of data.

Sen. James Jeffords (news - web sites), I-Vt., the No.
2 senator on the Senate Environment and Public Works
Committee, said the report was another indication that
the Bush administration's weakening of the Clean Air
Act was unwarranted.

Environmentalists and some states legally challenged
the rules, saying the effects on air quality and
public health were unacceptable. Richard Blumenthal,
Connecticut's attorney general, said the GAO report
confirms the rule changes weren't supported by
scientific evidence and showed the administration has
sold out to special interests.

"This report should be the final nail in the coffin of
environmental credibility for this administration," he

EPA said cost-benefit analysis wasn't required since
less than $100 million in economic and environmental
impacts were at stake. Jeffords and some Senate
Democrats said more analysis was needed because EPA
documents indicate that keeping the program intact
would provide more than $2 billion in annual health


On the Net:

EPA New Source Review:


Posted by richard at August 29, 2003 05:07 PM