Issue Date: July 2, 2007
House Acts To Block EPA Air Toxics Rule
The House last week moved to nix EPA's controversial plan to change its regulatory scheme for carcinogens and other hazardous air pollutants. The modification, proposed by EPA in December 2006, would allow tightly regulated facilities that are major emitters of hazardous air pollutants to get reclassified into a less stringent control regime (C&EN, Jan. 1, page 18). EPA would allow the move if a facility were to reduce its air releases of any one toxic chemical to less than 10 tons per year or of any combination of these hazardous pollutants to less than 25 tons per year. Now, once a facility has been named a major emitter, its classification cannot change. The idea is backed by the American Chemistry Council and other industry organizations, but environmental groups oppose the plan, saying it could allow companies that have already cut their releases of air toxics to boost emissions. An amendment to H.R. 2643, the bill for funding EPA and other agencies in fiscal 2008, would forbid EPA to spend any money to finalize the plan.
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