Friday, October 27, 2006

 

Rot gets worse in Ohio air pollution rules

Your Republican Ohio EPA. From Gongwers (sub. req'd):
“When you got a rotten law, it takes a bit of effort to come up with a set of regulations that are even worse, but they did,” attorney David Altman said in an interview Thursday, referring to draft rules the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency proposed in response to a major revision of the state’s air pollution law (SB 265 ).

Mr. Altman submitted written comment on the rules earlier this week on behalf of the Ohio Academy of Trial Lawyers, Sierra Club, Buckeye Environmental Network, Environmental Community Organization, and Ohio Citizen Action.

The agency will consider public comments, and may further revise the rules, before submitting them to the Joint Committee on Agency Rule Review (JCARR), OEPA spokeswoman Linda Fee Oros said. The agency hopes to finalize the rules by the end of the year. Thereafter, the rules may be appealed in the Environ-mental Review Appeals Commission, she added.

Any business emitting an air contaminant previously had to obtain a permit but, among other changes, the new regulations require permits only for companies releasing a chemical named on a list of toxic compounds.

“So now the question is, isn’t the OEPA director going to make this all better by putting thousands of chemi-cals on the list?” Mr. Altman said about the new law requiring the agency to list regulated chemicals. The director failed to include many chemicals “well-known to be capable of causing adverse health effects.”

He went on to criticize the rationale the agency offered for narrowing the originally proposed list from 639 to 303 compounds. Among other reasons, the agency dropped chemicals that were no longer being produced in Ohio.

“What logic is there in taking the 300 some chemicals off the list because they’re not currently being used in Ohio?” he asked. Looking at the situation from the perspective of a polluter, he added, “I would move those chemicals into Ohio the minute those regs went into effect.”

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