EPA needs to pay attention to carbon monoxide, says judge
Carbon dioxide gets all the press, but the U.S. EPA is way behind on its legal obligation to update the nation’s carbon monoxide regulations — and it needs to get crackin’, a federal judge ruled this week. Federal law requires a reassessment of carbon-monoxide standards every five years, but the EPA last took a look at the standards in 1994. While carbon monoxide is not considered to be a huge public-health threat, two recent studies have found that it could be dangerous at levels previously considered safe. Carbon monoxide comes from auto tailpipes and fossil-fuel refineries and can cause health problems, birth defects, and, at high levels, death. Following full scientific review and a comment period, any changes to the standard must take place by May 2011, said U.S. District Judge Jeffrey White, rejecting the EPA’s request for an extension to October 2012.