Senators Urge EPA to Stand By NOx Reduction Timeline

Sens. Joseph Lieberman (D-CT) and James Jeffords (I-VT) last week called on EPA Administrator Christine Todd Whitman to resist pressure to delay implementation of air pollution controls required by the Clean Air Act.

"This isn't just about environmental protection," Lieberman said. "It's also about protecting people's health from the harmful effects of air pollution," the Connecticut lawmaker continued. "I strongly urge Administrator Whitman -- as I am sure a majority of the American people do as well -- to stand firmly against any attempt to weaken or delay implementation of these regulations," Lieberman stated.

In a letter to Whitman, Lieberman and Jeffords praised a recent court ruling that let stand a 2003 deadline for seven Midwest and East Coast states to join 11 others in achieving critical reductions in nitrogen oxides (NOx) (see NGI, May 21). "These reductions will deliver tremendous public health and environmental benefits to the residents of all eighteen states," the senators wrote. "We urge you to advance the regulations without delay to provide certainty to the regulated community," Lieberman and Jeffords added.

In making their case to Whitman, the senators cited a report issued last week by the Northeast States for Coordinated Air Use Management. The report noted that 100 power plants appear to be "well ahead of schedule" for complying with the 2003 deadline.

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