Industry influence on EPA faces House investigation

Dec 27, 2006 | 02:42 PM | Martyn Chase

A wide-ranging investigation into corporate influence over U.S. Environmental Protection Agency policies and enforcement is reportedly being planned by Rep. Henry Waxman (D., Calif.), incoming chairman of the House Government Reform Committee.

Waxman reportedly plans to aim the probe at the level of corporate influence over EPA policy-making during the first six years of the Bush administration.

A specific agenda has not yet been set, a staff member of the House Government Reform Committee said. "It's really too early to discuss what will be involved. That is still being decided," she said, adding that an agenda won't be firmed up until next month at the earliest.

Sources at environmental groups said likely issues to be probed include efforts by the EPA to relax existing lead pollution standards; the toxic waste clean-up settlement Bush administration officials reached with copper producer Asarco LLC; the lack of promised limits or loopholes allowing unchecked mercury emissions by a range of industries; and an effort by the EPA to "modernize" and cut costs at its library system that was seen in many corners as a move to limit access to information on pollution science.....

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