View Full Version : Kudos to the EPA

05-11-2004, 12:14 PM
First we have the regional director of the EPA standing up to the strong arm tactics of Joe Barton and refusing to exclude Ellis County in the north Texas air quality plan. Now here comes new standards for off road diesel machinery that will make our air cleaner to breathe. It is good to see these mandates put into effect, although it would be even better if the fuel regs on sulfur content would be done sooner than proposed...
EPA to Finalize Diesel Pollution Rules Tuesday
Mon May 10, 2004 03:44 PM ET

By Chris Baltimore
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The Bush administration will finalize rules on Tuesday to cut air pollution from tractors, bulldozers and other off-road diesel vehicles by over 90 percent, the Environmental Protection Agency said on Monday.

Fuel refiners will be required to produce diesel fuel by 2012 that is 99 percent free of smog-causing nitrogen oxides under the new rules, which the EPA proposed a year ago.

Also, Cummins Inc., Caterpillar Inc. and others will have to sell engines starting in 2008 that strip out more harmful particles in emissions linked to asthma and other serious respiratory ailments.

EPA Administrator Mike Leavitt was to brief President Bush on the rules on Monday afternoon and finalize the rules on Tuesday, the EPA said in a statement.

The plan mirrors clean air rules that already exist for diesel trucks and buses, and would apply to over 650,000 vehicles that operate off-road, including bulldozers, tractors, portable generators, forklifts and aircraft service equipment.

Off-road diesel equipment emits about 25 percent of nitrogen oxides from U.S. mobile sources, the EPA said.

"The rule will be a major help to areas nationwide in their effort to reach clean air goals and improve public health," the EPA said.

Studies show that by 2030 the proposal could prevent about 9,600 premature deaths a year and reduce asthma and other respiratory ailments linked to the air particles contained in emissions, the EPA has said.

Fast-growing urban areas with heavy road construction like Atlanta and Houston are especially plagued by dirty exhaust from those sources.

Environmental groups, which have been quick to criticize the Bush administration's close ties to energy and industrial companies, praised the EPA action.

"It's great to see science win out over the special interests for a change," said Emily Figdor at the U.S. Public Interest Research Group.

Under the rules, sulfur content in diesel fuel will drop to 500 parts per million (ppm) in 2007 and 15 ppm in 2012. Sulfur levels in diesel fuel are now unregulated and can be as high as 3,400 ppm, the EPA said.

Complying with the rules will be "very tough," said Christine Vujovich, a vice president at engine maker Cummins. "But they are levels we understand we need to get to and we're working the technology," Vujovich said.

05-11-2004, 03:44 PM
although it would be even better if the fuel regs on sulfur content would be done sooner than proposed

I'm no expert, but I think this would drastically raise the cost of using US oil supply to produce petroleum products, which would increase even more our dependence on OPEC.

05-11-2004, 04:21 PM
Originally posted by: jacktruth

although it would be even better if the fuel regs on sulfur content would be done sooner than proposed

I'm no expert, but I think this would drastically raise the cost of using US oil supply to produce petroleum products, which would increase even more our dependence on OPEC.

and I'm not an expert either, but found this which doesn't suggest anything like that:

according to the EPA "the average consumer cost of reducing sulfur levels to 15 ppm...will be no more than four cents per gallon." The costs of the additional equipment to clean the rest pof the crud from the emissions would be $1000 to $1600 per vehicle.

Diesel stats (http://www.epa.gov/otaq/regs/fuels/diesel/f00022.htm)

05-11-2004, 09:28 PM
Allrighty... Now Dubya can claim to be the environmental president. Supporting stricter limits than clinton. Thum, thum,thum,,,,,, another kerry plank bites the dust.

05-11-2004, 10:25 PM
Originally posted by: dude1394
Allrighty... Now Dubya can claim to be the environmental president. Supporting stricter limits than clinton. Thum, thum,thum,,,,,, another kerry plank bites the dust.

tsk tsk tsk, one good ruling does not an "environmental president" make. As a matter of fact, GWBush's record is remarkable in its lack of dedication to environmental protection, to wit:

Bush Administration Budget Proposal for FY 2005
President Bush’s proposed budget for fiscal year 2005 dramatically cuts funding for environmental protection. Total spending on environmental programs is slated for a $1.9 billion reduction (-5.9 percent) compared to FY 2004, falling from $32.2 billion to $30.3 billion. These are marked by sharp cuts in water and sewer funding, as well as EPA’s science budget. Funding proposals are also inadequate for land conservation, wildlife protection, and parks funding.

January 7, 2004
Administration Proposes to Allow Mining Along Streams
The Bush administration announced its plan to eliminate a 1977 policy that says land within 100 feet of a stream cannot be disturbed by mining activity unless a company can prove that the work will not affect the stream's water quality and quantity. The proposed change is another gift from the Bush administration to companies engaged in mountaintop removal and will make it even easier for mining companies to destroy streams. It encourages the practice of mountaintop removal mining, where mining companies in Appalachia blow the tops off of mountains to reach a thin seam of coal and then, to minimize waste disposal costs, dump millions of tons of waste rock in the valley below, permanently burying streams.

December 16, 2003
Broad Backlash Prompts Bush Administration Reversal on Misguided Water Rule
In early 2003, the Bush administration proposed a rule change to remove Clean Water Act protections from at least 20 million acres of wetlands and a majority of the nation's streams. At the same time, the administration issued guidance instructing their agencies not to enforce rules protecting these waters without first obtaining permission from headquarters. Fortunately, a strong backlash from states, sportsmen, and even a bipartisan majority of Congress left the Bush administration with little choice but to drop its misguided proposal to gut the Clean Water Act, as it quietly did with an announcement on December 16, 2003. However, the matter is not entirely settled; to fully protect our waters, the Bush administration needs to also remove its guidance discouraging enforcement of clean water protections for wetlands and small streams. Until this guidance is lifted, wetlands and small streams will remain vulnerable to pollution and destruction.

November 3, 2003
The Sweet Smell of a Raw Deal
The Bush administration announced a new draft policy today that would allow partially treated sewage to be "blended" with treated sewage and discharged into the nation's waterways during heavy rain and flood events. This policy change means that viruses and pathogens would be discharged into our waterways and more Americans will get sick from waterborne illnesses.

October 23, 2003
EPA Accepts Questionable Wetlands Science
A U.S. Environmental Protection Agency biologist resigned in protest of his agency's acceptance of a developer-financed study concluding that wetlands discharge more pollutants than they absorb, according to a statement released today by Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER). Wetlands are often referred to as nature's kidneys and are widely known for their ability to filter and clean water. EPA's approval of the study gives developers credit for improving water quality by replacing natural wetlands with golf courses and other developments.

September 3, 2003
EPA Makes it Easier to Spray Pesticides into Our Water
In November, 2002 the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that a Clean Water Act permit is required before spraying pesticides into or above waters of the United States. Rather than abide by the Court ruling and work to protect aquatic life, the EPA has issued guidance that abandons its responsibility for overseeing these pesticide applications. The guidance makes it possible to spray pesticides directly into water to control pests or weeds without obtaining a permit, jeopardizing fish and other living organisms in and near the water.

July 16, 2003
EPA Fails to Protect Communities from Drinking Water Contaminated by Rocket Fuel
Every five years the EPA is required to review whether or not health standards should be set for additional contaminants under the Safe Drinking Water Act. Now, seven years after the rule went into effect, the EPA has announced that no new health standards are needed. The agency reached this decision despite its own research indicating that perchlorate, a salt found in rocket fuel, presents a public health threat. According to an article in the Los Angeles Times, “government officials have determined that perchlorate may cause health problems, even in trace amounts.” Greenwire reports that perchlorate is known to have contaminated water supplies in 22 states.

June 6, 2003
EPA Letting Water Polluters Go Unpunished
According to their own internal analysis, as leaked to the Washington Post, the EPA is allowing polluters to get away with serious violations of the Clean Water Act, endangering public health and the environment. In the past four years, the EPA found that formal enforcement actions were taken against less than a quarter of the facilities that were in significant violation of the law. About 860 major facilities across the nation -- roughly 13 percent -- exceeded limits set to protect public health by more than 1,000 percent. The EPA reports that they and state agencies took "timely and appropriate" action against serious offenders nine percent of the time in 2001. As a result, many facilities may find it easier and more cost effective to ignore Clean Water Act limits, leaving our nation’s lakes, rivers and streams in danger.

May 29, 2003
Bush Administration Seeks to Expedite Mountaintop-Removal Mining
The Bush administration released a long-awaited assessment of the impact of mountain-top removal, a mining technique that involves blasting the tops off mountains and dumping the waste into the nearest valley, completely burying streams. The study finds that this type of mining has destroyed more than 700 miles of streambed since 1985 while polluting another 500 miles. The Bush administration's "preferred alternative" for addressing this destruction: Speed the process for granting mountaintop-removal permits under the Clean Water Act, and eliminate a surface mining rule that requires a 100-foot buffer between mining operations and streams.

January 14, 2003
EPA to Allow Polluters to Buy Their Way Out of Reducing Water Pollution
The Bush administration announced plans to allow polluters to purchase "pollution credits" from other polluters rather than reducing the pollution they discharge into waterways. This trading system would likely result in toxic "hot spots" in river and lakes as polluting facilities buy credits rather than clean up their wastewater.

January 10, 2003
Bush Administration Issues Guidance and Advance Rulemaking Notice, Jeopardizing the Nation's Waters
The Environmental Protection Agency and the Army Corps of Engineers issued an Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking and policy guidance concerning the Clean Water Act's definition of "waters of the United States." The agencies claim that the Supreme Court's 2001 decision on Clean Water Act jurisdiction in Solid Waste Agency of Northern Cook County v. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (SWANCC) prompted these actions to establish regulatory clarity.

But these initiatives go well beyond the limits the Court established, threatening the Clean Water Act's goals of restoring and protecting the nation's waters. Even if the agencies do not proceed with rulemaking, the implementation of this guidance alone could threaten "isolated" and other waters that the Clean Water Act has long protected. The administration's actions could place at risk a significant portion of the nation's waters that have been protected from unregulated pollution and filling for more than 25 years. The guidance and rulemaking also may result in huge additional costs to states and local communities to clean up water pollution that will escape federal protection.

December 15, 2002
EPA Puts Factory Farm Polluters Ahead of Environment
In compliance with a consent decree, the Bush administration issued a new rule that will continue to allow factory farms to pollute rivers and lakes with animal manure. Although the 30-year-old rule for factory farms badly needed updating, the Bush administration rule effectively makes it worse.

The new rule fails to update technology standards, legalizes runoff of animal waste into already polluted rivers and streams, shields corporations that own the livestock from liability for the environmental damage they cause, allows factory farms to write their own waste management plans, and defers many critical decisions to state agencies, many of which have ignored these pollution problems for years. The Bush administration's actions do nothing to protect waterways from the massive pollution caused by factory farms.

September 19, 2002
Bush Administration Threatens Clean Water Act
The Bush Administration announceds plans to consider new rules restricting the jurisdiction of the Clean Water Act. If adopted, periodically dry streams found in the upper reaches of headwaters, non-navigable tributaries, and wetlands adjacent to tributary streams may lose protection that the Clean Water Act currently provides. The administration cites a Supreme Court decision as the rationale for the initiative, but the court's ruling did not provide for the wholesale elimination of protections for isolated wetlands, let alone any tributary streams.

August 7, 2002
EPA to Weaken Key Provision of Clean Water Act
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is planning to issue a rule that would weaken a key provision of the Clean Water Act. The Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) program sets limits for how much of each pollutant a given body of water can hold, then restricts pollution sources to meet those established limits. The new rule would create ways for states to remove waterways from the cleanup list without reducing pollution, while also allowing increased discharges from factories and sewage treatment plants based on speculative and unenforceable reductions in pollution run-off. The new rule also attempts to weaken the EPA's mandate to issue cleanup plans when states fail to do so.

May 14, 2002
EPA Proposes Water Pollution Trading Plan
Rather than making all polluters meet the standards set by the Clean Water Act, the Environmental Protection Agency has proposed a voluntary scheme to enable polluters to continue discharging waste at higher-than-permitted levels as long as they pay someone else to reduce their pollution instead. In such a scheme, the burden of polluted water falls unevenly upon communities. Environmentalists want the EPA to enforce the Clean Water Act rather than negotiating over industries' right to pollute.

May 3, 2002
EPA Allows Mine Waste to be Dumped in Rivers
The Sierra Club condemned the Bush Administration for allowing mining companies to dump waste into America's rivers and streams. The rule, announced by the EPA, could have far-reaching impacts on rivers, streams and wetlands across the entire country, but especially in Appalachia, where the practice is already common. There, mountaintop-removal companies operating under permits issued by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers have made a habit of dumping “overburden” from mining sites into adjacent valleys and river drainages, burying thousands of miles of rivers and greatly exacerbating flooding in the region.

March 13, 2002
Administration Dodges Salmon Protections
The Bush Administration attempted to circumvent important environmental laws in a proposed settlement agreement that would remove critical habitat protections for salmon and steelhead in the Northwest. As part of that settlement, the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) would rescind its current critical habitat designation for 19 West Coast salmon and steelhead populations, effectively caving in to the demands of the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB). The judge in the case must still accept the proposed settlement.

January 15, 2002
Wetlands Threatened
The Bush Administration today, notwithstanding objections from the EPA, wetlands scientists and the environmental community, threatened the nation's wetlands and streams by weakening the Clean Water Act’s Nationwide Permit (NWP) program. The new nationwide permits allow the Corps to waive many of the environmental conditions adopted in March 2000 that were meant to limit the use of these permits, and continue activities that damage or destroy thousands of acres of wetlands and miles of streams every year. Wetlands filter pollutants from our drinking water, protect our homes by storing floodwater, and provide homes for fish, shellfish, and wildlife. Despite to need to protect our wetlands, the Fish and Wildlife Service reports that roughly 58,500 acres of wetlands are lost annually.

July 17, 2001
Clean Water Rule Put on Hold
On July 16, 2001, the EPA asked a federal court to delay for 18 months a water cleanup rule issued on July 13, 2000. The EPA maintains that this delay will enable it to "review and revise the rule to achieve a program that is workable and meets the goal of clean water."

Some 20,000 water bodies, almost 40 percent of the nation's waters, do not meet basic standards for fishing, swimming or other uses. Last year's rule, which the Sierra Club generally supported, would have created a more specific process for identifying and cleaning up waterways that fail to meet clean water standards. It gave the EPA and the states a more effective framework for reducing runoff pollution.

Runoff is the main cause of water quality problems in many watersheds. Polluters vigorously opposed the rule and successfully persuaded Congress to withhold funding for the program for one year. The Sierra Club and other environmental groups opposed the Bush Administration's request for a delay of the clean water rule and expres

sed skepticism that any revisions the Bush Administrations developed will be effective in cleaning up polluted waters.
April 27, 2001
Bush Reopens Sensitive Waters to Polluting Personal Watercraft
Despite strong public support for protecting our National Parks from loud, dangerous and polluting personal watercraft or jet-skis, the Bush Administration is preventing National Park managers from protecting sensitive waterways from these damaging machines. In late April, the Department of Interior suspended restrictions on these vehicles at some National Parks and ordered others not to implement new bans.

The sites effected include the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore, Cumberland Island National Seashore on the Georgia coast, Cape Lookout National Seashore on North Carolina's Outer Banks and at the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area in Pennsylvania and New Jersey. An Interior Department study has shown that personal watercraft produce noise levels reaching 115 decibels, compared with 105 decibels for jackhammers and 100 decibels for chainsaws. An Environmental Protection Agency study found that the two-stroke engines used by most personal watercraft discharge 25 percent to 30 percent of their fuel unburned into the water. President Bush should allow Park managers to protect sensitive waters from these destructive machines.

April 16, 2001
Wetlands Protections
The Bush Administration decided not to block an effort to protect America's wetlands. President Bush let stand a decision by the Clinton Administration limiting a loophole in the Clean Water Act allowing destruction of streams and wetlands. Developers had used the loophole in the Act to destroy an estimated 20,000 acres of wetlands and 150 miles of streams. Developers are challenging the protections in court, and the Bush Administration has yet to announce if they will vigorously defend these standards against court challenges.

April 12, 2001
Dioxin Report Put On Hold
The chemical, beef and poultry industries are waging an intense campaign to further delay an Environmental Protection Agency study showing that consumption of animal fat and dairy products containing traces of dioxin can cause cancer in humans. EPA scientists and officials say they are confident of the report's findings, which they began circulating last June and they are urging EPA Administrator Christine Todd Whitman to issue the report in final form this summer. But the study, more than a decade in the works, has drawn such intense opposition from industry groups and congressional Republicans that it could be held up for several more years according to a Washington Post story.

April 9, 2001
Eliminate the Wetlands Reserve Program
President Bush cut funding for popular farm conservation programs, like the Wetlands Reserve Program. Currently, there are 1300 farmers waiting to protect 570,000 acres of wetlands under this program. The program also serves as a useful tool for curbing suburban sprawl, which is chewing up over 2 million acres worth of farmland and open space a year. His father worked with the Sierra Club to expand this program in the 1990 Farm Bill.

April 9, 2001
Environmental Protection Agency Budget Cuts
The Bush includes cuts of $158 million from the EPA's core efforts to enforce laws that keep polluters from fouling the air we breathe and the water we drink. President Bush talks about needing to do more research on a range of issues, but his budget slashes $56 million that would be used to study how best to protect our families' health. Overall, President Bush is cutting $500 million (over 6%) from the EPA budget.

March 23, 2001
Hardrock Mining Standards
A Federal Register notice was printed March 23 notifying the public that the Department of Interior is proposing to suspend the new "3809" rule in order to impose the old rule. The new hardrock mining standards would have required mining companies to develop and put in place plans to protect water from contamination and to post bonds to guarantee the cleanup of the site. The old rule, now made current, allows mining companies to pollute public lands with little oversight.

March 20, 2001
Arsenic Standards for Drinking Water
EPA Administrator Christie Todd Whitman announced that she would delay a rule that would have restricted the amount of arsenic allowed in tap water. That rule was scheduled to take effect March 23. The National Academy of Sciences has said that the standard for arsenic in drinking water needs to be improved “as promptly as possible.”

05-11-2004, 10:30 PM
Just as I thought, why should he do anything for the left, they wouldn't give him credit for curing cancer.

Interesting about the aresenic since that restrictions was reversed after they looked at the cost/benefit. Also I'm not going to quibble about the non-budgetary items but you will have to show me the budgets BEFORE and AFTER before I will believe those budget cuts were real, that's a political trick that washington pulls all of the time. Washington budget cuts are like me gripping that I got a pay cut becuase I didn't get 5% but only 3%.

05-12-2004, 08:13 AM
Originally posted by: dude1394
Just as I thought, why should he do anything for the left, they wouldn't give him credit for curing cancer.

The President shouldn't "do anything for the left", he should do what is best for the citizens of our country and its environment. The rules on diesel are a good step in reducing what some estimate contributes 25% of the pollution in our urban areas. Regardless of if a person is on the left or the right, they can be victims of pollution if they breathe dirty air.

Interesting about the aresenic since that restrictions was reversed after they looked at the cost/benefit. Also I'm not going to quibble about the non-budgetary items but you will have to show me the budgets BEFORE and AFTER before I will believe those budget cuts were real, that's a political trick that washington pulls all of the time. Washington budget cuts are like me gripping that I got a pay cut becuase I didn't get 5% but only 3%.

Nice spin, the record speaks for itself. From the days as Texas Governor where he let the industrial polluters govern themselves (and the public see increases in pollution) GWBush is anything but the friend of environmental protection.