Committee Leaders Ask EPA to Update its Cost-Benefit Analysis of Proposed Particulate Matter Standards
WASHINGTON, DC – House Energy and Commerce Committee leaders are seeking further information regarding the costs and benefits of EPA’s proposed stringent new standards for fine particulate matter (PM 2.5). Full Committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-MI), Energy and Power Subcommittee Chairman Ed Whitfield (R-KY), and Chairman Emeritus Joe Barton (R-TX) today wrote to Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Lisa Jackson concerning EPA’s analysis of the proposed rule. The members are concerned EPA’s previous estimates are outdated and do not account for the recent court decision vacating EPA’s Cross-State Air Pollution Rule (CSAPR).
EPA issued its “Regulatory Impact Analysis for the Proposed Revisions to the National Ambient Air Quality Standards for Particulate Matter” (RIA) in June 2012, which assumed that before the new PM standards would take effect, the nation would already have reduced emissions to comply with the final Cross-State Air Pollution Rule. A D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals later vacated that rule in August, invalidating the baseline for EPA’s estimates. EPA has yet to provide an updated and accurate analysis for its proposed PM standards.
The members wrote, “In view of the CSAPR ruling, and to promote transparency and a meaningful opportunity for public review and comment, we ask that EPA provide an updated estimate of the costs of the proposed rule with the most accurate baseline possible, namely one that excludes emissions reductions assumed to result from implementation of the CSAPR. We request that EPA provide this updated cost estimate taking into account the court’s decision to vacate CSAPR no later than November 29, 2012.
“In the RIA, EPA also projects benefits from the proposed rule based on reductions below the particulate matter levels EPA has identified as sufficient to protect the public health with an adequate margin of safety. To assist the public in evaluating the proposed rule’s benefits, we further request that EPA provide an estimate of the benefits of the proposed rule that excludes the hypothetical public health benefits that are assumed to be associated with reducing airborne concentrations below the levels that EPA has identified as sufficient to protect the public health with an adequate margin of safety. Such an estimate would be appropriate to represent the numerous uncertainties identified by EPA in the analysis.”
To view a full copy of the letter, click here.