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10.4.04

New Source Review Finally Reviewed

I finally finished reading the New York Times's giant article on new source review and the Bush administration undermining thereof. The main thrust of the article -- that the administration has worked through administrative and bureaucratic, rather than legislative, means to implement its environmental agenda -- largely parallels my OSP article on the subject.

What I hadn't realized was that the new source review lawsuits that have been undermined by the rule changes are the first major enforcement actions taken since the Clean Air Act was passed. Obviously "but you let us get away with it before" isn't a valid excuse for wrongdoing. But there's also no excuse, morally or pragmatically, for the EPA's failure to monitor and enforce the law all along. We shouldn't be surprised at the degree of backlash when an industry that has been accustomed to not be held accountable suddenly gets hit with a reckoning 20 years in the making.

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