Mr. Chairman, thank you for having this hearing on the EPA’s proposed standards for Particulate Matter. There is perhaps no more important environmental standard than the National Ambient Air Quality Standard for Particulate Matter. Tens of thousands of Americans die prematurely each year from particulate matter. The NAAAQS are the cornerstone of the entire Clean Air Act. Their fundamental purpose is to tell us when the air is safe to breathe. For more than 30 years, these standards have been set based solely on health considerations, using the latest scientific evidence. Congress specifically chose to not allow consideration of costs when setting these standards. Those who call for a cost-benefit analysis would have us set a standard that fails to protect the health of all Americans. We cannot afford the human cost of such an approach. Consider this: If cost benefit analysis is used to set the NAAAQS and the compliance costs of a standard are estimated at $1 billion, the EPA would be required to set a standard that would allow up to $1 billion worth of people to die from air pollution. So just how do we measure $1 billion in human life? Setting the NAAAQS in that way is unconscionable. Telling people their air is safe to breathe, when it is actually not safe, is unacceptable public policy. We need to revise the existing standard set in 1997. Although the EPA itself has recognized that fact, the EPA’s proposal falls far short of what the scientific evidence requires. The Clean Air Scientific Advisory Committee recommended that the EPA revise both the annual standard and the daily standard. But the EPA disregarded that advice, forcing the scientific advisory committee to reconvene and reiterate its advice to the EPA. The Committee also made it clear that the EPA’s proposal for the coarse particle standard was outside the bounds of the scientific evidence. If the EPA were to listen to the advice of its science advisors, tens of thousands of lives could be saved. The standard proposed by the EPA would result in a 22 percent reduction in deaths, but a standard set within the range recommended by the scientific advisory committee could save up to 48 percent more lives. Particulate matter kills more people than HIV/AIDS and more people than drunk driving. It is a big killer and we need to reduce it as soon as possible. That is what the science shows. Thank you, and I look forward to hearing from our witnesses.