Institute Clears the Air on EPA Regulations

WASHINGTON, DC, March 12, 1997 The Environmental Protection Agency's proposals to tighten air quality regulations are likely to do more harm than good, according to comments filed today by the Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI).

“The EPA did not adequately consider the potential harms that its new rules could cause,” commented Jonathan H. Adler, Director of Environmental Studies at CEI, and co-author of the Institute's comments. “It is undisputed that wealthier is healthier, yet the EPA did not take that into account. Thus, in the name of public health, the EPA may be putting more Americans at risk,” Adler said.

Among the points made by CEI in its comments on the EPA's proposed rules were the following:

  • The EPA's proposal to tighten the standard for particulate matter rests on an unsound scientific foundation.
  • The EPA's proposal to tighten the standard for ozone is likely to result in a net increase in fatalities, due to the exorbitant cost of the proposed standard and the impact of reduced income on mortality.
  • The EPA ignored its own findings connecting reduced ozone levels with increased exposure to solar radiation and associated health risks.
  • The EPA did not adequately account for the impact of its proposed regulations on state and local governments, and small businesses, as is required under federal law.

Last November, the EPA proposed highly controversial regulations to tighten quality standards for particulate matter (“soot”) and ozone (“smog”). If they go into effect, the new standards will force hundreds of cities to impose costly new environmental regulations. These regulations could include controls on emissions from automobiles, bakeries, printing shops, and the use of consumer products. For this reason, the rules have been heavily criticized by governors, local government officials, consumer groups, and industry.

For more information, contact Greg Smith at (202) 331-1010 or [email protected].