White House pressures EPA on soot

July 18, 2012 at 2:05 AM
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WASHINGTON, July 18 (UPI) -- An environmental activist says the Obama administration has been interfering with decisions that should be made by regulators.

Frank O'Donnell of Clean Air Watch said the White House's intervention in standards for fine soot particles is only the latest example, The Washington Post reported. He cited the Obama administration's decision last year to stop an effort by the Environmental Protection Agency to put stricter ozone regulations in place.

"If this had been a Bush administration move, every progressive in America would be screaming foul," O'Donnell said.

In the soot case, the EPA proposed reducing the standard for fine-particle soot from 15 micrograms per cubic meter to 12 micrograms. Industry groups wanted to leave the current standard in place.

Documents show the Office of Management and Budget directed the EPA to adopt a standard of 12 or 13 micrograms per cubic meter, the Post said. O'Donnell called that "the latest in a pattern of interference by the White House in decisions that rightly belong to EPA, based on science."

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