Your Dec. 28, 1998 Politics & Policy article "EPA Probers Find Big Flaws in Major Clean-Air Effort" is based on a questionable premise: "According to the EPA, billions of pounds of air pollutants moving with the nation's weather patterns, cause as many as 3,000 cancer deaths in the U.S. each year. . . ."
This estimate is from a 1990 EPA report that states, "[This] estimate, however, does not necessarily give a realistic prediction of the risk. The true value of the risk is unknown, and may be as low as zero."
What is known is that EPA science is famously suspect. According to a 1992 audit of the EPA by an independent blue-ribbon panel of scientists, the agency "adjusts" science to fit policy. Here, the estimate is based on speculative, worst-case-scenario assumptions that predetermine the existence of risk -- this is not science.
Steven J. Milloy
The Junk Science Home Page
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