EPA Ignores Advisers on Pollution Cap

Sets higher limit than own experts' recommendations
By Peter Fearon,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 13, 2008 7:18 AM CDT
Congested traffic fills New York's Park Avenue. The EPA has tightened air quality standards but has ignored the recommendations of its own independent scientists.    (AP Photo/Richard Drew)
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(Newser) – Ignoring the recommendations of its own scientists, the Environmental Protection Agency yesterday reset standards for pollution-forming ozone from cars and factories at a level critics say may cost thousands of lives. The new cap is lower than the old level but still far above the limit urged by EPA experts, reports the Washington Post.

The EPA's new limit on ozone in the air is 75 parts per billion, though its advisory committee had suggested levels as low as 60 and "no higher" than 70. "It is disheartening that once again EPA has missed a critical opportunity to protect public health and welfare," said one environmental activist. A power industry lobbyists said the cap was already too low, claiming environmentalists "are promising health benefits that people may never receive, even though they'll end up paying for them through higher energy bills." (Read more smog stories.)