Waxman: EPA/OMB to blunt emission rules

| 6/12/2002

U.S. Congressman Henry Waxman (D-CA) fired off a letter to EPA Administrator Christine Whitman June 7 seeking more information about an Office of Management and Budget/EPA plan he says would weaken EPA's diesel engine emission rules.

The rules, recently upheld by the D.C. Circuit Court, say manufacturers of diesel-fueled truck engines must reduce emissions of particulate matter by 90 percent and nitrogen oxides by 95 percent, beginning in 2007.

According to Waxman, the proposal under consideration by EPA and OMB would allow truck engine manufacturers to exceed emissions limits by obtaining emission credits from off-road vehicles.

"A decision to weaken the diesel rule would be a shocking reversal," Waxman wrote. "There is no need to undermine the rule reducing emissions from diesel trucks in order to achieve emission reductions from non-road vehicles."

Waxman also said it's improper for OMB, an arm of the Executive Branch, to "collaborate" in developing the new proposal. "Congress granted rulemaking authority under the Clean Air Act to the Administrator of EPA, which is an independent regulatory agency, not to the Director of OMB, which is an agency under direct White House control," he said.
-- Dick Larsen, senior editor