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EPA chief warns GOP moves may risk public health
Key Excerpts from Article on Website of San Francisco Chronicle (San Francisco's leading newspaper)

San Francisco Chronicle (San Francisco's leading newspaper), September 23, 2011
Posted: September 27th, 2011

The chief of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency said [on Sep. 2] that Republican-sponsored proposals moving in the House would threaten the agency's ability to regulate toxic air emissions. Administrator Lisa Jackson told a panel of lawmakers that the legislation, coupled with two GOP-offered amendments, "would weaken or destroy our ability to address those toxic pollutants," putting thousands of lives at risk every year. The legislation would delay an EPA rule for reducing mercury pollution and the upcoming agency rule limiting cross-state air pollution from power plants. The bill would also require a new interagency committee to analyze the financial impact of several EPA rules next year. The House also will consider two floor amendments to the bill. One, sponsored by Rep. Ed Whitfield, R-Ky., would delay the mercury and cross-state rules by several additional years at least and loosen the minimum standards for new emissions rules. The other, sponsored by Rep. Bob Latta, R-Ohio, would require the EPA to draw up air-quality rules with regard to "cost and feasibility." Currently, the rules must be based solely on evidence regarding public health and environmental impacts. Rep. Henry Waxman, D-Los Angeles, a top Democrat on the House Energy and Commerce Committee, has said the amendments would roll back 40 years of EPA regulatory authority under the Clean Air Act.

Note: Agreeing with Rep. Waxman, the Natural Resources Defense Council, an environmental advocacy group, calls the bill "one of the most significant votes on air pollution in two decades."

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