Representative Ed Whitfield (R-KY) proposed an amendment this week to the already horrendous TRAIN Act that will scuttle some EPA air toxics standards for years. The TRAIN Act—which is the first in a long-line of anti-EPA measures outlined by Majority leader Eric Cantor’s fall agenda—already indefinitely delays EPA Mercury and Air Toxics standards for power plants and the Cross-State Air Pollution Rule to cut smog and soot pollution from power plants.
Whitfield’s proposal amounts to little more than piling on the red-tape in an effort to delay these two critical rules for at least seven years. First, Whitfield’s amendment forces the EPA to wait at least three years after an interagency group report to Congress –which is conveniently scheduled for almost a year from now—to enact the already finalized Cross-State Air Pollution Rule. Then, once the rule is enacted, the EPA cannot require states to fully implement the measure for another three years.
Whitfield’s proposal also requires a similar convoluted, delayed path for the Mercury and Air Toxics rules. The amendment tosses out the upcoming rules and requires the EPA to develop an entirely new standard. Then, just as before, the amendment forces the agency to wait a year after the interagency group report to Congress (next year) to announce the “new” version of the Mercury and Air Toxics rules. Once the new version of the rules is announced, the EPA must wait another five years for states to fully comply with the new rules.
In other words, Whitfield proposed an amendment that is needlessly confusing, full of bureaucratic red-tape, and disregards public health.
The two EPA rules currently under attack are projected to save as many as 25,300 lives each year.