New Rules for Cleaner Air

Article excerpt

More evidence that the Clinton administration's Environmental Protection Agency is making big changes came recently with new regulations for toxic emissions from chemical plants. EPA chief Carol Browner announced regulations that, when put into effect, are expected to cut permanently 506,000 tons of emissions from 370 chemical plants in 38 states. Ten Monsanto plants are among those that will be installing new equipment and using new procedures to comply with the Clean Air Act toughened by Congress in 1990.

While some environmentalists may argue that the regulations do not go far enough or are drafted too loosely in some respects, the new rules are a great improvement over what was happening during the Bush administration. At that time, the EPA, at the direction of the White House, refused to issue the rules to comply with the act.

The Clinton White House is taking a more active role in trying to clean up the air, yet its approach, too, may leave something to be desired. For instance, companies may be allowed to trade pollution credits: If one substance is under the allowable limits, others could be above those limits. …