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Title: "The Role of Science and Economics in Setting Environmental Standards"
Author: A Kennedy School Policy Workshop - John F. Kennedy School of Government Harvard University
Publication Date: May 31 2001
Free/Fee: Free Access
Reads: 18075
Abstract: The opening months of the new Bush Administration in Washington, D.C. highlighted the continuing importance of how regulatory agencies set environmental standards. The Supreme Court’s review of EPA’s air quality standards in American Trucking Association v. Whitman (ATA v. Whitman) maintained that requiring the EPA to set air quality standards at the level that is requisite to protect the public health with an adequate margin of safety did not constitute an undue delegation of legislative authority to an executive agency. Moreover, the Court concluded that the Clean Air Act requires the EPA to set air quality standards based on risk assessment without regard to costs. This decision brought renewed attention to the role of cost-benefit analysis in standard-setting. In addition, the Bush Administration’s concern about the costs of complying with the revised drinking water standards for arsenic promulgated under the Clinton Administration, and its decision to review these standards again, brought the role of risk and economic analysis into the fore. As we go beyond the opening days of the new administration, salient questions remain about the role of science and economics in standard-setting.
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