The EPA Gets the Lead Out

Two weeks ago, the EPA potentially moved to reduce lead emissions standards, which, I think we can all agree, would be a Very Bad Thing. I have a little more information on what has transpired in the interim, and what you can do to express your displeasure.

First, read this article by the AP’s John Heilprin. There’s now little doubt that this change is in response to lobbying by lead smelters and refiners, as well as battery manufacturers. Heilprin quotes Marcus Peacock, number two at the EPA, as saying:

“Starting with lead, we’re going to try to dovetail this in,” Peacock said of the new guidance, which he said also would help the agency use the most up-to-date science and keep separate its scientific and policy considerations.

Unfortunately, the EPA has chosen to separate these considerations by completely freeing its policy-makers from having to consider scientific findings. This change in procedure is discussed in this article from the Minneapolis Star Tribune, which you should also read. Here’s my favorite quote, and by favorite, I mean “makes my bowels clench in fury”:

The official justification, as usual, is that this will improve efficiency, by detaching EPA action from the time-consuming work of scientific analysis.

Well, you can’t fault them there. If given the choice, I always prefer to make quick, totally uninformed decisions.

So what can you, as a not-so-gentle BRAG reader, do? Well, you can send an e-mail to the above-mentioned Mr. Peacock. Tell him that the EPA’s job, first and foremost, is to protect the environment and the American people. EPA policy must be based upon both scientific data and safety, not corporate profits.



4 Responses to The EPA Gets the Lead Out

  1. tekstone says:

    here’s my letter to Mr. Peacock:

    The EPA’s job, first and foremost, is to protect the environment and the American people. EPA policy must be based upon both scientific data and safety, not corporate profits.

    As an American, I fully expect you to execute your duties in a responsible mannor. That means taking into account scientific data when making decisions that will potentially harm or kill people.

    Faith-based policy is NOT acceptable… nor is profit-based policy.

    Do not forget your job and who your boss is. No, not that guy… The American People!

    If you fail to protect the environment and cause harm to us Americans, we will not tolerate that.

    Shape up, mister. The bottom line is this: “Do NOT reduce lead emissions standards!”

  2. tekstone says:

    and Mr. Peacock’s reply:

    “Thanks [tekstone], I hear ya loud and clear.

    Some folks seem to be under a mis-impression. I personally track what we are doing to decrease lead exposure on a quarterly basis (we cleaned up over 1,500 lead contaminated properties through the fourth quarter of last year!). We have a goal of eliminating childhood lead poisoning by 2011and the trend line is looking pretty good right now. Blood leads continue to decline. But there is more to do, not just for EPA to do, but the Consumer Product Safety Commission, Housing and Urban
    Development and others. For more information on what EPA is doing see”

  3. superawesomestuff says:

    …and the misdirection continues. First, he tries to make this into a “but what about the children?” argument. Should kids be eating lead paint? Of course not. But the lead emissions standards in the Clean Air Act don’t even apply to deadbeat landlords – but they do apply to lead refiners and battery makers.

    Second, he admits that the measures they’ve taken DO work! No mention of whether or not they’ll stay that way, though…

  4. A. Citizen says:

    Here is my effort to persuade Mr. Marcus Peacock:

    I’ve been reading about your plans to deregulate lead in our air, water and, it follows, food. I cannot help but wonder at this. Lead is highly toxic. Lead leads to permanent learning disabilities in children.

    In short, lead is not good for you or me. I note that you and the lead battery industry lobbyists make much of ‘other ways’ of reducing the lead in the environment we live in. The environment you live in and your children live in; I assume you have children sir.

    Strangely, no mention in the articles I read was made of what these ‘other methods’ of reducing lead in the environment might be.

    Perhaps they are faith based?

    Your entire policy on this vital issue would appear to be just that.

    Contrary to what you might, or might not believe I have no way of knowing, science does not depend on faith.

    No, it uses hard facts to reach useful conclusions on how to protect the citizens of this nation from deadly dangers such as lead in our air, water and food.

    Please be advised that scientists have now reached a conclusion about you. And that is that you must go. We will be so advising the incoming Democratic majority.

    I look forward to your explanation on C-Span for your actions, seemingly in favor of industry at the expense of the health of the citizenry, on this issue.


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