CLEAN AIR TRUST ASSAILS BUSH PLAN
TO WEAKEN CLEAN AIR ACT ENFORCEMENT
Plan Would Create Loopholes, Threaten Enforcement
(Washington, D.C. June 13, 2002) - The nonprofit Clean Air Trust today assailed the Bush Administration's new plan to weaken the Clean Air Act.
"The plan announced today by the Environmental Protection Agency will undermine the Clean Air Act by creating gaping new loopholes that will allow big polluters to increase pollution," said , executive director of the Clean Air Trust.
O'Donnell added "this plan appears to pose a direct threat to the enforcement actions that EPA has brought against electric power companies, refineries and other smokestack industries." He noted those industries "illegally modified their plants without installing new cleanup controls."
O'Donnell noted that EPA was responding to heavy lobbying by industry groups led by such powerful lobbyists as Haley Barbour, former Republican National Committee Chairman and current RNC Chairman Mark Racicot. They have lobbied the Bush Administration and Congress on behalf of defendants - including Southern Company.
"Lawsuits were brought against these companies for violating the so-called new source review provisions of the law," O'Donnell noted. "Their defense was that they were only doing routine maintenance. But now the Bush Administration seeks to change the definition of routine maintenance," O'Donnell noted.
"This looks like nothing more than an engraved invitation to powerful campaign contributors," O'Donnell added.
"It is remarkable that the announcement, not expected for several months, has been rushed out on the eve of a massive Republican fundraiser scheduled for next Wednesday."
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