State Air Rules Found To Benefit Public Health
The public health and economic benefits resulting from California's smog controls outweigh the "additional costs and complexity" that the standards place on the industry and consumers, according to a report released Thursday by the National Research Council, the Sacramento Bee reports. Under federal law, California can set fuel and emissions standards that are stricter than those set by the Environmental Protection Agency (Bowman, Sacramento Bee, 3/17).
The report was commissioned in 2003 by Sen. Kit Bond (R-Mo.), who claimed stricter emissions laws in California could lead to the loss of thousands of jobs in other states because of California requirements that could increase manufacturing costs. Automakers also have testified about the costs of designing special products to meet California requirements but have not provided full evidence of those costs, the Los Angeles Times reports (Wilson, Los Angeles Times, 3/17).
An 11-member committee of NRC compared the health and economic effects of California's regulations with the less strict federal standards and found the state's rules "scientifically and technically valid." The committee also said tougher standards are needed in the state to reduce chronic pollution in the Sacramento region (Sacramento Bee, 3/17).
In addition, the committee recommended that EPA set a two-year time limit for deciding on waiver applications for new emissions controls in the state (Los Angeles Times, 3/17).