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Committee Leaders Submit Comment on EPA’s Proposed Rule on the Review of the National Ambient Air Quality for Particulate Matter

Jun 25, 2020
Press Release

Today, leaders of the Energy and Commerce and Science, Space, and Technology Committees submitted a comment to U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Andrew Wheeler for the proposed rule on the Review of the National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) for Particulate Matter (PM), which was released on April 14, 2020.  The Chairs urged EPA to delay the finalization of the PM NAAQS until the Agency can ensure the appropriate independent scientific advice is considered in setting protective standards that meet the statutory requirement to protect public health with an adequate margin of safety.  The letter implores EPA to consider the findings of the original Clean Air Scientific Advisory Committee (CASAC) Integrated Review Panel (IRP) on the PM Integrated Science Assessment and Policy Assessment, which was developed independently last fall.

The letter was signed by Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-NJ), Science, Space, and Technology Committee Chairwoman Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-TX), Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Oversight & Investigations Chair Diana DeGette (D-CO), Science, Space, and Technology Subcommittee on Investigations & Oversight Chairman Bill Foster (D-IL), Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Environment and Climate Change Chairman Paul Tonko (D-NY) and Science, Space, and Technology Subcommittee on Environment Chairwoman Mikie Sherrill (D-NJ).

“EPA has repeatedly sidelined independent scientific advice in developing a policy proposal with such far-reaching consequences for the American people,” the Chairs wrote to Administrator Wheeler. “The PM NAAQS is perhaps the most consequential single-pollutant regulation that EPA can promulgate from a human health perspective. In September 2019, EPA’s own draft Policy Assessment for PM NAAQS concluded that the incumbent standards were too high to protect public health and should be lowered by as much as one-third. Despite this finding and an overwhelming body of supporting scientific evidence, EPA is proposing to retain all PM standards at their current levels. These actions are particularly dangerous during a global pandemic that attacks the respiratory system.”

The full letter is available here.