Wednesday, March 7, 2012

National Academy of Sciences Report on EPA Pollution Limits Dismisses Exaggerated Cost Claims National Academy of Sciences Report on EPA Pollution Limits Dismisses Exaggerated Cost Claims - NEWS RELEASE


March 6, 2012

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact:  Cris Costello, cris.costello@sierraclub.org 941-914-0421

Today’s National Academy of Sciences report, Review of the EPA’s Economic Analysis of Final Water Quality Standards for Nutrients for Lakes and Flowing Waters in Florida, in a subtle way, chastised the Florida Department of Environmental Protection for allowing confusion regarding the difference between the incremental implementation costs that might be incurred with the EPA numeric nutrient criteria and the total long-term costs of restoring all of Florida’s impaired surface waterbodies. 

The report says that EPA’s focus on the incremental costs was the most appropriate approach to take and that the exaggerated cost claims made by opponents of the EPA pollution limits were unreasonable and “clearly a reflection of attempts to estimate the total cost, not the incremental cost.”  The report summarily rejects the assumption, upon which those over-bloated claims were made, that the most costly methods of water treatment (reverse osmosis) would be mandated under the EPA Rule.

The report suggested that FDEP should have clarified the incremental cost versus total cost issue for decision-makers when the EPA Rule cost analysis was first released.  The misinterpretation that followed could have been prevented by FDEP.

“The Florida Department of Environmental Protection did more than just drop the ball – they made the situation worse by promoting the claims made by Florida’s biggest polluters – claims that have now been discounted by the National Academy of Sciences” said Cris Costello, Sierra Club Regional Representative.  “Instead of protecting Florida’s residents from the public health threats, the poisoned drinking water, the huge real estate value losses, and the job-killing slime, FDEP added to the confusion.”

Frank Jackalone, Sierra Club Senior Regional Manager said:  “This report blows those exaggerated claims out of the water – the slime covered water – and makes it clear that the Florida Department of Environmental Protection’s move to make its own weaker limits is based on falsehoods.  Floridians, and the many visitors that bless our shores with their business, have been tossed aside by the Florida Department of Environmental Protection as it has rushed to cater to polluter interests.  It is time for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to come to the rescue of our sick waters”.
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