Bush Upholds Clinton Administration Rule on Lead Emissions
The Bush administration, which opponents have criticized for "car[ing] more about promoting industry than protecting the environment," announced yesterday plans to "go forward" with a Clinton administration regulation that will force thousands of companies to report details of their lead emissions, the New York Times reports. Under the rule, firms that handle "as little as" 100 pounds of lead annually will have to report to the Environmental Protection Agency the amount released into the air, soil and water, but the regulation will "do nothing directly to curb emissions," the Times reports (Seelye, New York Times, 4/18). In the past, companies processing more than 25,000 pounds or using 10,000 pounds of lead or lead compound emissions had to report to the agency. Officials estimated that the new rule would affect about 9,800 additional businesses. EPA Administrator Christine Whitman, who announced the decision, said "This action reflects the president's strong commitment to protecting America's children from the damaging effects of lead poisoning. Bush and this administration will do everything that we can to continue to protect the health and well-being of American people through appropriate environmental measures." Bush had agreed to review the regulation, which was issued "among dozens of new rules" in the waning days of the Clinton administration, after assuming office (Heilprin, AP/Albany Times Union, 4/18).