This hearing is very important and timely. The implementation of our nation's ambient air quality standards (or NAAQS), and the Clean Air Act in general, is a matter of life and death. Approximately 70,000 Americans die prematurely every year as a result of air pollution, according to researchers at Harvard University. The main cause of these deaths is fine particulate matter, also known as PM- 2.5. The bulk of this pollution comes from power plants, diesel fuel combustion and elsewhere. Ozone is a serious lung irritant that can trigger asthma or even cause it, and has recently been linked to birth defects. If the country was achieving the 8-hour ozone standard, we could prevent nearly 400,000 asthma attacks, 5,000 hospital admissions and about 600,000 lost school days every year. Unfortunately, the trend on ozone pollution has been going the wrong way for the last few years, according to EPA's 2002 Trends Report. Concentrations will increase as population grows and the average temperature rises. And, 200 million Americans have an increased risk of cancer, reproductive dysfunction, developmental problems, and other health effects due to air toxics exposure. What has this Administration's response been to these and other troubling facts? To issue rules to gut the New Source Review (NSR) program so that large polluting sources could be exempt from applying modern pollution controls permanently. This exemption would condemn thousands of people to an earlier death every year and delays attainment. To halt or slow-walk investigations and the enforcement of NSR requirements, not to mention obstructing Congressional oversight. To propose power plant reductions that are too little and too late to help areas achieve attainment of the standards, or obtain quick recovery of ecosystems sensitive to acid rain. To delay non-attainment designations. To delay revisions to the air quality standards that would be more health protective. To propose to violate a settlement agreement and defer any mercury reductions for at least 10 years longer than the law provides, unnecessarily exposing more than 600,000 women and children to health risks. To pretend that manmade carbon dioxide emissions are not having an impact on the global climate system. To issue all sorts of environmental rules without an adequate consideration of the risks, benefits and costs associated with them. All of this adds up to more disease, damage and death, due to closed-door policy making. And, coincidentally, more profits for polluters. This Administration has a growing credibility gap, maybe even a credibility chasm on air pollution policy. I am hopeful that Mr. Leavitt will have more luck than his predecessor in rebuilding trust with Congress and with the public, but I am doubtful because of White House influence. How could the Administrator build trust? To start: *Withdraw the mercury proposal, as I and 44 other Senators are requesting today. *Stop the filibustering of the PM-2.5 review. *Work constructively with Congress to get a 4-pollutant bill, sooner rather than later. *Add one new dangerous chemical to the list of hazardous air pollutants, for the first time. *Give Congress and this Committee access to the documents on decision- making that we have requested. *Do the analysis that EPA promised on a wide-range of mercury MACT standards. *Request an Inspector General investigation of industry memoranda in EPA's mercury rule. The Administration could also make sure that the ozone implementation rule does not add delay on top of the seven years of delay that we have already had. That delay has caused a public health train wreck, because more stringent standards are needed now based on current scientific findings. Even this scientific standard review process has been delayed by those less interested in protecting public health. I ask that a brief history of the delays in the review process and a list of some of relevant health studies from 2003 be placed in the record. Unfortunately, the current version of the draft final rule to implement the 8-hour ozone standard is flawed, incomplete and late. The PM-2.5 rule is late too. There are problems with revoking the 1-hour ozone standard. The new classification scheme should not be used to grant inappropriate extensions of attainment deadlines, especially if that would be unfair to areas that have attained. I know that my expectations are high. But, when life is in the balance, we can and must do better. I urge the Administration and the Administrator to bridge the chasm that currently looms. By doing some of the things that I have suggested and working with us in Congress, there might be a chance of rebuilding trust and credibility. That would go a long way to really making our air cleaner and our people healthier. Thank you.