(eng) EPA Press Release Part 1 of 2

Ewald (ewald@ctaz.net)
Fri, 06 Dec 1996 00:46:33 -0700

I'm sure that many of us in the U.S. have seen the news reports
regarding the EPA's (Environmental Protection Agency) plans to
strengthen air quality standards as regards particulate matter
produced by industrial pollution. The following is the EPA's
press release regarding this action and information on how
U.S. citizens can make their opinions known on the matter,
as the EPA is taking public comments on this for 60 days
before it proceeds with the actual regulatory proccess.

You can find the original text of this press release at:

Part 2 of my post will contain a fact sheet which will
describe the scientific review proccess and actual testing
standards that were used to develop these new regulations.

Shawn Ewald



Based on evidence of harm to human health and the environment, the U.S.
Environmental Protection Agency today proposed new national air quality
standards for particulate matter (soot) and ground-level ozone (smog).
Because of the significance of the proposal, EPA will seek broad public
comment on its recommended approach and on the need for any changes to the
particulate matter and ozone proposal. The purpose of the comment period is
to reach out to all stakeholders in order to obtain the best information
available for determining the appropriate final standards.

"In the Clean Air Act, Congress required EPA to review and incorporate the
best available science into public health standards to protect Americans
from air pollution," said EPA Administrator Carol M. Browner. "The EPA
proposal would provide new protection to nearly 133 million Americans,
including 40 million children. We will use the very best science to do what
is necessary to protect public health in common-sense, cost-effective ways."

Particulate matter (PM), or soot, comes largely from combustion from sources
like power plants or large incinerators. Ozone is primarily the haze of
chemicals from car exhausts and smoke-stack emissions that shrouds many
cities on hot summer days.

EPA and a board of independent scientists have reviewed 86 PMrelated
human-health studies, covering millions of people, that showed harmful
effects from breathing particles at the current standard. The proposed
standard, along with clean air programs already planned, would reduce
premature deaths by 40,000 per year, and reduce serious respiratory problems
in children by 250,000 cases per year.

Another 185 of the latest ozone-related studies on human health also were
reviewed. All of them showed harmful effects from ozone at the current
standard, including more than 1.5 million incidences a year of significant
respiratory problems, such as loss of lung capacity and exacerbation
of both childhood and adult asthma. In addition to threatening health, ozone
and PM can damage agricultural crops, and diminish visibility in national
parks, in some cases by as much as 77 percent.

Browner said, "EPA has based its proposal on a thorough review of the best
available science. We are now hoping to hear from a wide range of the
American people, from scientists and environmentalists to industry experts,
small business owners, doctors and parents, to receive the broadest possible
public comment and input on this important issue."

The PM standard currently calls for regulation of particles the size of 10
microns or smaller (PM-10) in concentrations of 50 micrograms per cubic
meter annually and 150 micrograms per cubic meter daily. The proposed PM
standard calls for 2.5 microns or smaller (PM 2.5) in concentrations
of 15 micrograms per cubic meter annually and 50 micrograms per cubic meter
daily. EPA today also proposed maintaining the current standards for PM-10
so that larger, coarse particles would continue to be regulated. The current
ozone standard is .12 parts per million measured over one hour. EPA's
proposed standard calls for .08 parts per million measured over eight hours.
EPA also
is seeking comment on several other options, including an ozone concentration
of .09 parts per million measured over eight hours, as well as a range of
ozone concentrations from .07 parts per million measured over eight hours to .12
parts per million measured over one hour, the current standard. On both
proposed standards, EPA has also specified the way in which attainment of
these standards would be measured.

EPA believes that the standards being proposed are consistent with the work
of the independent scientists on the Clean Air Science Advisory Committee,
which is part of EPA's long-standing Science Advisory Board. EPA will be
taking comment on the scientific evidence during the comment period.

Browner today also expanded the membership and the mandate of an
implementation advisory committee, to ensure that any plans to carry out the
standards will include the advice and participation of state and local
governments, industry, small business and environmental groups in order to
identify common-sense, cost-effective options for implementation of the

Plans to meet any finalized standards would be due in 2002 for PM, and in
2000 for ozone control strategies. Deadlines for achieving full compliance
would occur several years thereafter for both types of pollution.

Congress specifically named six air pollutants under the Clean Air Act to be
regulated by EPA's national air quality standards. They are ozone,
particulate matter, nitrogen dioxide, carbon monoxide, sulfur dioxide, and
lead. Congress directed that such standards should be reviewed at least
every five years by
EPA to keep up with current science, and that proposals to revise them should
be based solely upon the best current scientific opinion on public health
effects, not economic impacts. Since initially setting standards in the
early 1970s, EPA has changed the standards only twice: Once, in 1979, and
once in 1987. During the Bush Administration, a decision was made not to
review the current science regarding the health effects of ozone.

There is a 60-day comment period on the proposal. Once a final regulation is
issued in June 1997, it will be among the first major environmental rules
reviewed by Congress under the new Small Business Regulatory Enforcement
and Fairness Act.

Today's action will appear soon in the Federal Register, but will be
computer-accessible earlier through EPA's electronic bulletin board system,
the Technology Transfer Network (TTN) at http://www.epa.gov/airlinks. The
TTN can be reached at 919-541-5742

(backup number for access problems is 919-541-5384). The notice will appear
on the TTN's Clean Air Act Amendments Bulletin Board under "Recently Signed
Rules." For further technical information, contact Jeff Clark of EPA's Office
of Air Quality Planning and Standards at 919-541-5557.

R-159# # #
### B O Y C O T T S H E L L ###
greedy murderers and polluters
remember Ken Saro Wiwa and the slaughtered Ogoni
"Political rights do not originate in parliaments; they are rather forced
upon them from without. And even their enactment into law has for a long
time been no guarantee of thier security. They do not exist because they
have been legally set down on a piece of paper, but only when they have
become the ingrown habit of a people, and when any attempt to impair them
will meet with the violent resistance of the populace."

--Rudolf Rocker