When the Environmental Protection Agency unveiled a rule last week to limit mercury emissions from U.S. power plants, officials emphasized that the controls could not be more aggressive because the cost to industry already far exceeded the public health payoff.Read it here.
What they did not reveal is that a Harvard University study paid for by the EPA, co-authored by an EPA scientist and peer-reviewed by two other EPA scientists had reached the opposite conclusion.
That analysis estimated health benefits 100 times as great as the EPA did, but top agency officials ordered the finding stripped from public documents, said a staff member who helped develop the rule.
And if you have an inkling that a, oh, I dunno, conflict of interest might lay behind this stellar move, read this.
UPDATE: The nominee for new head of EPA, Stephen Johnson,
...strongly supported a study in which infants will be monitored for health impacts as they undergo exposure to known toxic chemicals for a two year period.The study’s on hold, pending review. If this story even makes the news, what will get lost is the real travesty here: The EPA wants to use poor black folk when there are so many legally unprotected immigrants who’ll do anything for money and don’t know English. Clear evidence that private industry trumps government in efficiency. Read more details here.
The E.P.A. is targeting the poor and African-Americans for the study, presumably in the hope that they will be less informed about the dangers of exposing their children to pesticides, and will therefore continue to expose them over the two year period. The study actually mandates that participants not be provided information about the proper ways to apply or store pesticides around the home. And the parents cannot be informed of the risks of prolonged or excessive exposure to pesticides. Additionally, the study does not provide steps to intervene if the children show signs of developmental delay or register high levels of exposure to pesticides in the periodic testing.