It's gotten to be almost a dog bites man story. The EPA has overruled its staff once again
. From The Washington Post
The Environmental Protection Agency has decided to lower the allowable amount of smog-forming ozone in the air to 75 parts per billion, a level significantly higher than what the agency's scientific advisers urged for this key component of unhealthy air pollution, according to documents obtained by The Washington Post.
The new smog rules -- one of the most important environmental decisions President Bush will make during his final year in office -- will be a major factor in determining the quality of the air Americans will breathe for at least a decade....
Nearly a year ago, the EPA's Clean Air Scientific Advisory Committee reiterated in writing that its members were "unanimous in recommending" that the agency set the standard no higher than 70 parts per billion and that the agency should consider reducing ozone levels to as low as 60 parts per billion. Public health advocates, including the American Lung Association, have lobbied for a 60-parts-per-billion ozone limit.
Remember that leaders of the union representing EPA staff have already withdrawn
from a cooperation agreement with political appointees there out of protest of just this sort of thing.
The EPA was under a court order to produce a decision by tomorrow. The actual announcement of the new standard is expected later today.