Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

FACT CHECK; Burning Question: Was EPA Going to Regulate Our Backyard Barbecues?

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

FACT CHECK; Burning Question: Was EPA Going to Regulate Our Backyard Barbecues?

Article excerpt

Byline: Carole Fader

Times-Union readers want to know:

I saw on a Facebook post that the Environmental Protection Agency wants to ban grilling and a Republican congressman has proposed legislation that would prohibit federal regulation of backyard barbecues. Is this true?

Rep. Richard Hudson,aa Republican from North Carolina, as well as other politicians, have criticizedaa grant awarded by the EPA to a project aimed atareducing fine particulate emissions from residential grilling.

On July 7, Hudson spoke on the House floor to add an amendment to the Department of the Interior, Environment and Related Agencies Appropriations Act on the grilling issue:

"The EPA gets a lot of things wrong, especially with this preposterous study. ... What they're proposing is reducing emissions from residential propane grills, which means they want to stop you and I from grilling outside on our own property."

His amendment would prohibit the EPA from using appropriated funds to regulate residential barbecues; it passed by voice vote on July 7.

That really happened.

But here's the rub (no pun intended): The grant was not related in any way to the EPA's regulatory activities. It actually was part of a student competitionacalled the "P3 Awards: A National Student Design Competition for Sustainability Focusing on People, Prosperity and the Planet."

The project, according to FactCheck.org, was proposed by students at the University of California, Riverside; they received a $15,000 grant from the EPA in August 2014 that expires next month.

The students wanted to add a removable grease tray and a specialized air filtration system to propane barbecues, specifically to reduce the particulate emissions to which the grill operator is exposed, FactCheck.org stated. These emissions, known as PM2.5, can lodge deep in the lungs and cause serious health problems, according to the World Health Organization.

In a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association in 2002, researchers matched mortality information for about 500,000 adults with pollution levels in cities across the U. …

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