Says those that are criticizing do not understand the peer review procedure

WASHINGTON, DC ñ Sen. James Inhofe (R-Okla.), Chairman of the Environment & Public Works Committee defended the Environmental Protection Agencyís (EPA) mercury rule making process that has been criticized recently in the press and by some Senators for not including a Harvard Center for Risk Analysis study of possible health benefits from reducing mercury pollution from power plants. The study, submitted past the deadline to EPA, was too late to be considered in the recent rule making process. ìThe EPA conducted arguably the most exhaustive rule making process for the mercury rule that has been conducted in the agencies history,î Senator Inhofe said. ìTo insinuate that something is out of the ordinary by EPA not including a study that was submitted to it after the deadline shows a clear lack of understanding of the rulemaking and peer review processí by some on Capitol Hill. EPA followed the rules and the blathering by a disgruntled EPA employee should not hold up the first ever mercury reduction proposal for power plant emissions ever implemented by an American president. It is ironic that some of the same Senators who recently voted against even stronger mercury reduction controls provided by the Clear Skies bill now seem determined to hold up any progress on mercury reductions at all by asking that this rule be stayed.î In addition, the critics of the studyís exclusion complain that the EPA did not use the extremely high benefits numbers in the recent regulation -- without pointing out that the studyís benefits calculations were caveat with numerous uncertainties.