Environmentalists Ask EPA Administrator Whitman to Disavow Encouraging Congress to Allow Her Agency to Delay Smog Cleanup

EPA Policy to Extend Deadlines for Metro Areas Forces Millions to Breath Polluted Air

WASHINGTON (January 14, 2002) -- Twenty-seven environmental groups sent a letter today to Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Christine Whitman, urging her to publicly oppose any congressional effort to legalize the agency's practice of giving municipalities extensions for meeting federal health standards for smog. The groups are concerned that Congress may try to weaken the Clean Air Act without public debate by attaching a rider to an upcoming appropriations bill.

The groups attached a five-page memo to the letter explaining how the EPA's "attainment date extension policy" jeopardizes the health of millions of Americans by delaying the implementation of programs to reduce urban smog.

The letter and the attached memo are available online:

Letter to EPA Administrator Christine Whitman (pdf)

Memo: EPA's Attainment Date Extension Policy Harms Public Health and Delays Clean Air for Millions of Americans (pdf)

The Natural Resources Defense Council is a national, non-profit organization of scientists, lawyers and environmental specialists dedicated to protecting public health and the environment. Founded in 1970, NRDC has more than 500,000 members nationwide, served from offices in New York, Washington, Los Angeles and San Francisco.