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New Clean Air Standards Are No Sweat in Florida

New Clean Air Standards Are No Sweat in Florida

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State’s Air Already Meets Federal Goal
State’s Air Already Meets Federal Goal

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Published by: Environmental Working Group on Jan 22, 2013
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Page 1Environmental Working Group
EWG Policy Memorandum
Environmental Working Group 1718 Connecticut Ave., NW Suite 600 Washington, DC 20009info@ewg.org • www.ewg.org Contacts:Richard Wiles (202) 667-6982Mark Childress (202) 667-6982 September 30, 1997
New Clean Air Standards Are No Sweat in Florida
Florida has some of the cleanest air in the nation. The “Sunshine State’s” air is sopure, in fact, that 66 out of 67 counties in Florida
comply with tough new Federal clean air standards for soot and ground-level ozone announced by PresidentClinton in July.Florida’s air pollution politics are another matter.
Tainted by more thanthree quarters of a milliondollars ($763,000) in campaignfunds from major polluterssince January, 1991, 16 out of 23 members of the Floridacongressional delegation havetaken the surprising step of questioning the need for new air pollution rules––eventhough those rules pose norestrictions for all but one of Florida’s 67 counties (and eventhis county may face norestrictions) (Table 1). Indeed,these new air standardsrepresent a win-win deal forthe state. Citizens receive thehealth and economic benefits of continued clean air in Florida while Florida businesses bearnone of the costs of pollutionreduction in other states.Industry opponents of the new clean air standardshave spent a reported $30million so far in a nationwide
Figure 1. Representatives urging delay in clean air standards received two and one half times as muchmoney from major air polluters than those whosupport clean air.
Anti - CleanAir SignatoriesPro - CleanAir Signatories
   A  v  e  r  a  g  e   A  n   t   i -   C   l  e  a  n   A   i  r   P   A   C    C  o  n   t  r   i   b  u   t   i  o  n  s
State’s Air Already Meets Federal Goal
Most in Florida Delegation Who Are Urging DelayReceived Big Contributions from Polluting Companies
Page 2Environmental Working Group
lobbying campaign directed at lawmakers. Members of the Florida delegation urging adelay in the standards have received two and one half times the amount of campaigncontributions from these industries than members of the delegation who support the new health standard. Nearly eighty percent of air polluter PAC money given to Florida HouseMembers went to Representatives who now urge a delay in new clean air standards. A review of Federal Election Commission data by the Environmental WorkingGroup found that the 16 Florida House members who wrote President Clinton in May expressing concerns about the new standards pulled in an average of $48,000 apiece in
* Letter from Representative Boyd (R-FL) urging delay of Clean Air Act Standards.** Letters from Representatives Waxman (D-CA) and Boelhert (R-NY) in support of Clean Air Act Safeguards.‡ Contributed by companies that belong to the “Air Quality Standards Coalition”.
 Table 1. How the Florida Delegation Scored on Clean Air.
 Florida Representativeswho signed Anti- Anti - Clean Air PAC Contributions
Clean Air Letter* 1992 1994 1996 1998
Shaw $48,749 $38,700 $32,500 $2,000
Young $29,550 $21,000 $44,000 $2,000
Mica $15,350 $26,773 $31,400 $0
Thurman $9,100 $27,050 $27,600 $2,500
Stearns $5,730 $16,500 $38,850 $3,500
Foley $0 $25,100 $21,500 $2,000
Fowler $12,000 $11,250 $23,350 $500
Weldon $0 $4,500 $36,350 $1,750
McCollum $15,250 $9,000 $15,695 $1,000
Ros-Lehtinen $14,040 $9,300 $11,000 $250
Canady $9,000 $12,450 $9,750 $500
Scarborough $0 $8,750 $17,450 $500
Boyd $0 $0 $21,700 $3,600
Diaz-Balart $4,000 $8,000 $10,250 $1,000
Miller $7,300 $5,750 $4,750 $0
Goss $2,000 $0 $0 $0
Total (1992-1998) $172,069 $224,123 $346,145 $21,100
Avg (1992-1998) $10,754 $14,008 $21,634 $1,319
Florida Representativeswho signed Pro- Anti - Clean Air PAC Contributions
Clean Air Letter** 1992 1994 1996 1998
Deutsch $4,750 $13,800 $13,772 $500
Meek $5,500 $11,049 $7,250 $1,000
Hastings $500 $6,500 $8,000 $2,000
Brown $3,600 $5,250 $4,000 $1,000
Wexler $0 $0 $4,500 $0
Total (1992-1998) $14,350 $36,599 $37,522 $4,500
 Avg (1992-1998) $2,870 $7,320 $7,504 $900
Page 3Environmental Working Group
campaign contributions since 1991 from the corporate coalition fighting the new standards. That is two and one half times the amount those same industries donated, onaverage, to Florida House members who support tough new clean air standards ($18,600)(Figure 1).
In November, 1996, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) set off amajor political battle when it proposed to update the decade-old health standards forparticulate pollution (soot) and ground level ozone (smog). After an exhaustive review of more than 3,000 studies EPA Administrator Browner, along with EPA’s Clean AirScience Advisory Committee, concluded that the current health standards for both sootand smog needed to be revised.President Clinton gave final approval to the new standards in July, 1997. EPAestimated that improvements to the health standards for smog and soot would annually prevent more than 15,000 premature deaths, 350,000 cases of aggravated asthma andnearly a million cases of significantly decreased lung function in children.The EPA acted despite significant opposition from major segments of the businesscommunity. As the National Journal reported in January, 1997, “corporate giants from theoil, chemical, electric utility and trucking industries are working together under thebanner of the Air Quality Standards Coalition [AQSC] ... The coalition boasts more than500 members and a war chest that’s estimated at well over $2 million.” According topress reports, that war chest grew to as much as $30 million (The Washington Post, June17, 1997).
 Air Pollution is Hard to Find in Florida
Every year, tens of millions of vacationers head to Florida for sparkling beaches,non-stop sunshine and clean, ocean-fresh air. Its healthy environment is one of the“Sunshine State’s” principal attractions, and fresh air is one of Florida’s biggest draws.In fact, the state has such high-quality air that every Florida county currently meetsEPA’s smog and soot standards. Indeed, it is impressive that a state of Florida’s size andpopulation does not have a single county out of compliance with current EPA airstandards.Even more impressive, EPA estimates that not a single one of the state’s 67counties will fail to meet the EPA’s new standard for soot, and only one county in theentire state (Escambia, a northwest panhandle county that is downwind from pollutionsources, such as Mobile, Alabama) might exceed the new, more protective standard forsmog.EPA’s prediction is based on air pollution data from the early 1990’s. If, asexpected, recent trends prevail and air quality in Florida continues to improve, it ispossible that even Escambia County will meet the new standard in the year 2000 whenfinal compliance determinations are made.

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