EPA Official Gave Misleading Testimony on Clean Air, Say Whistleblowers

Meanwhile, all isn’t well inside the U.S. EPA, either. Last year, Assistant Administrator for Air Policy Jeffrey Holmstead testified before Congress that Bush administration efforts to ease clean air enforcement rules wouldn’t interfere with pending lawsuits against dirty power plants — but two former agency officials say key aides had repeatedly told Holmstead otherwise. The two whistleblowers are Sylvia Lowrance, former acting chief of the EPA’s Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance, and Eric Schaeffer, the former enforcement official who resigned last year to protest Bush administration environmental policies. Holmstead denies that he gave false or misleading testimony. At stake are dozens of enforcement cases brought during the Clinton administration against power plants and refineries for flouting clean-air standards.