Ruling on EPA (Letter to the Editor)

Ruling on EPA (Letter to the Editor)

May 24, 1999
Originally published in The Washington Post

The front-page story on the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals' decision to invalidate the Environmental Protection Agency's new air-quality standards leaves readers with the false impression that the court was deeply split on the issue ["New Air Pollution Rules Blocked," May 15].

While the court split 2 to 1 on whether the EPA surpassed its constitutional authority, the court was unanimous in holding that portions of the EPA standards were "arbitrary and capricious." All three judges concurred that the agency arbitrarily excluded scientific evidence on the health impacts of its new ozone standards and adopted an indefensible measurement standard for coarse particulates. They also agreed that portions of the new rules are unenforceable. In other words, not only did the court find the EPA to be acting unconstitutionally; it also held that on several key issues, the EPA's congressional critics were right.