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.