The just-enacted EPA measures exempt an estimated 118,500 tons of hazardous waste annually from strict federal incineration controls and remove a requirement on large farms to report hazardous air pollution, The Washington Post reported Saturday.
The moves join dozens of other changes made by the White House during the waning weeks of the outgoing Bush administration. Many of them have drawn the ire of environmentalists, who say they favor the interests of polluters.
Susan Bodine, EPA's assistant administrator for solid waste and emergency response, told the Post in a prepared statement that "this action recognizes that (incinerated hazardous waste) … should be managed as a commodity valued for its energy content," adding the rules eliminate unnecessary regulation and promote "energy recovery" without sacrificing human health or the environment.
But Ben Dunham of the non-profit advocacy group Earthjustice said the change will allow firms with poor environmental records "to simply throw their hazardous waste in the company boiler" and burn it, sometimes in populated areas, the newspaper said.
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