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July 6, 2005


July 6, 2005


EPA Releases Staff Paper on Air Quality Standards

Last week, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released a staff paper with recommendations regarding changing the National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) for fine and course particulate matter to protect the public health. Release of the staff paper formerly starts the EPA regulatory process for revising the existing standards.

The staff paper cites several research studies that show that the current NAAQS standards do not adequately protect public health. The EPA paper provides a range of options to revise the existing air quality standards, ranging from minimal changes to the existing standard to setting standards similar to the California emission standards.

By December 2005, EPA Administrator Johnson is expected to choose from the EPA staff options developed in the paper and formally issue a proposed federal rule for public comment. The final rule is expected to take effect by December 2006.

The ATS submitted comments during a series of public hearings the EPA held to collect public comment on the EPA staff paper. The ATS comments noted a growing body of evidence that demonstrates adverse health effects of exposure to fine particulate matter as levels below the existing EPA standards. The ATS strongly encouraged the EPA staff to recommend a tightening of the NAAQS standards to adequately protect the public from the adverse health effects of air pollution.


EPA To Develop Standards for Small Diesel Engines

In related action, the EPA also announced is intent to issue emissions rules for small stationary diesel engines, including generations, pumps, lawn and garden equipment, that would cut diesel exhaust emissions by 90%. The EPA announcement mirrors EPA earlier action on off-road diesel engines rule issued earlier last year. The final EPA rule on stationary diesel engines is expected to take effect next year.


Tobacco Control Group Seek to Intervene in the DOJ Tobacco Case

Last week, six public health organizations filed a motion to intervene in the Department of Justice (DOJ) lawsuit against the tobacco industry. The motion argues that the interests of public health organizations and their members are no longer being adequately represented in the case because the government has weakened remedies it is seeking.

As you may recall, DOJ lawyers reduced the awards they sought from the tobacco industry to $10 billion from $130 billion. The sudden last minute reduction in position of the DOJ has sparked claims of political influence and has lead to calls for investigation from several members of Congress.

The groups filing the petition are the American Cancer Society, the American Heart Association, the American Lung Association, Americans for Nonsmokers’ Rights, the National African American Tobacco Prevention Network and the Tobacco-Free Kids Action Fund – which is affiliated with the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids.

ATS Supports FTC Continued Monitoring of Tobacco Industry

Last week, the ATS joined several other tobacco control advocates in a letter to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) expressing strong support for that agency’s efforts to monitor and report on the advertising and market practices of the tobacco industry. The letter notes that the FTC reports on the tobacco industry are the only reliable source of information on how money is spending on marketing activities and how that money is being spent. Such information is essential to evaluate whether the industry is honoring its commitment to end advertising to children. The letter also points out ways out the FTC reports could be more clear and constructive by including data on individual tobacco companies marketing efforts, tracking the advertising done by Phillip Morris touting their “charitable� contributions, and breaking down the data by states.

Points of Contact

Gary Ewart Senior Director, Government Relations
Nuala Moore Senior Legislative Representative
Joe Kirby DC Office Administrator