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Sierra Club

DECEMBER 7, 2006
4:35 PM

CONTACT: Sierra Club
Virginia Cramer (202) 675-6279
Politics Trumps Science at EPA
Changes to Air Standards Review Announced

WASHINGTON - December 7 - "Under the guise of "improving efficiency," the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced sweeping changes today to the way it reviews and sets our nationís clean air standards. One of the most alarming changes moves policy recommendations out of the hands of EPA scientists and into those of political appointees. The new process also limits public review of scientific evidence.

"With these changes, the EPA has given Big Polluters an early holiday present. Unfortunately, our nationís air standards will now be based on the judgments of political appointees instead of the qualified, trusted scientists. If EPA truly wanted to modernize the process, they would have sought changes that would make air standards more transparent, not more secretive. These changes are bad for every American who breathes."

"Given the fact that the EPA is expected to soon make decisions that will affect public health, such as whether or not to continue regulating lead in our air, these changes could have serious consequences."

"The EPAís recent rulemaking on soot, where the agencyís own scientists were overruled, seems to have been the first in what promises to be a long series of unfortunate decisions where politics trumps sound science and concern for public health."


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