New pollution rule to hurt state, Inhofe says
BY JIM MYERS World Washington Bureau
Tuesday, January 26, 2010
1/26/10 at 4:24 AM
WASHINGTON — The Environmental Protection Agency announced a new pollution standard Monday to protect Americans from short-term exposure linked to major roads.
U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe, R-Okla., a major congressional player on such issues, warned that the EPA's move is yet another example of "more job-killing regulations" that will hurt states and local communities.
"In this case, Oklahoma will be directly affected," he said.
The top Republican on the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, Inhofe vowed to work closely with officials in Oklahoma to ensure that the EPA's "misguided rules" do not restrict economic development.
The Oklahoma Department of Environmental Quality said it was still looking at the ramifications of the announcement.
EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson said the agency's action is the first of its kind to prevent short-term exposure to nitrogen dioxide in high-risk zones such as urban communities and areas near roads.
"This new one-hour standard is designed to protect the air we breathe and reduce health threats for millions of Americans," she said.
Short-term exposure to nitrogen dioxide has been linked to impaired lung function and increased respiratory infections, especially in people who have asthma.
The EPA set the new one-hour standard at a level of 100 parts per billion.
Establishing new monitoring requirements in urban areas, the EPA also said it will use at least 40 monitors in locations to help protect communities that are susceptible and vulnerable to elevated levels of nitrogen dioxide.
It expects to identify areas not meeting the new standard by January 2012.
Those designations will be based on the existing monitoring network, and the agency plans to redesignate areas when three years of air-quality data become available with the new monitors.
Those new monitors are expected to be operating no later than January 2013.
Earlier this month, the EPA announced its proposal to beef up the nation's smog standards.
"Improving air quality is a top priority for this EPA," Jackson said.
"We're moving into the clean, sustainable economy of the 21st century, defined by expanded innovation, stronger pollution standards and healthier communities."
The American Petroleum Institute expressed concern that the EPA is basing its new short-term standard on a faulty science record.
The EPA "rushed to a decision without completing a thorough review of the science in a manner that allowed proper public participation," the institute stated.
"There is no significant evidence that the short-term NO2 standard established today by the administrator is necessary to protect public health."
Jim Myers 202-484-1424
U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe: He vowed to help ensure that the EPA's "misguided rules" don't restrict economic development.
EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson: "Improving air quality is a top priority for this EPA. We're moving into the clean, sustainable economy of the 21st century, defined by expanded innovation, stronger pollution standards and healthier communities."