States Expect Clean Air Act Changes Will Increase Pollution

Most state environmental officials expect that changes to Clean Air Act rules proposed by the Bush administration would lead to higher air pollution, according to a survey conducted by the General Accounting Office upon the request of Sens. Joe Lieberman (D-Conn.) and Jim Jeffords (I-Vt.). The survey gathered responses from 44 states; officials in 27 states expected higher pollution, officials in five expected a decrease, and officials in 12 expected no change. The U.S. EPA, which claims that the changes (primarily related to New Source Review provisions) would have minimal effect on air pollution, has been sued by 14 states and several cities, leading a Washington, D.C., federal appeals court in December to bar the changes from taking place pending resolution of the suit. A power industry spokesperson said that opponents of “New Source Review clarification and Clean Air Act innovation” had simply imposed their biases on survey respondents.