Heavy Metal Dodging
On March 15, EPA is scheduled to finalize a rule on power plant emissions of toxic mercury. For over a year, EPA's own advisory committee on children's health -- made up of medical experts, industry, and environmental groups -- has raised concerns that the rule doesn't go far enough to protect the nation's children from the hazardous neurotoxin. And for over a year, EPA has avoided addressing -- some would say outright ignored -- the committee's concerns. Last week, EPA's air chief Jeff Holmstead finally took the time to speak before the committee. But according to those who attended, Holmstead spent most of the meeting changing the subject: talking about lead poisoning rather than addressing concerns over the proposed mercury rule. In the end Holmstead failed to convince the advisers that the Administration's plan would protect children's health.
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