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Artba Opposes Proposed Epa Changes To Soot Rule


A proposal from the Environmental Protection Agency to tighten particular matter standards amounts to moving the goal posts in the middle of the game and could jeopardize state highway safety improvements

A proposal from the Environmental Protection Agency to tighten particular matter standards amounts to moving the goal posts in the middle of the game and could jeopardize state highway safety improvements. That was the message of Nick Goldstein, American Road & Transportation Builders Association assistant general counsel, at an Aug. 25 EPA Clean Air Scientific Advisory Committee hearing.

Goldstein told committee members that further tightening of particulate matter (or soot) standards would jeopardize highway funding to state and local agencies by placing these areas out of compliance with the federal Clean Air Act. Agencies out of compliance are at risk of losing federal highway funding, which supports projects designed to improve road safety, reduce traffic congestion and improve air quality--a move that would have unintended consequences and be contrary to other public policies.

Goldstein cited EPAís own data showing the transportation sector has significantly reduced soot levels by 50% since the 1970s--without tighter federal standards. The decline has occurred despite overwhelming growth in the U.S. economy, population, vehicle miles traveled and energy consumption, he said.

The association urged EPA to give states and localities time to comply with existing requirements before developing more stringent ones.