U.S. Sen. David Vitter (R-La.), top Republican on the Environment and Public Works Committee, today sent a letter to Gina McCarthy, Administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), regarding the memoranda announcing that the Agency will not have the results of an analysis to be included in scientific assessments in support of EPA's lowered ozone standard before the Clean Air Act Scientific Advisory Committee (CASAC) Ozone Panel meeting.

"It is extremely troubling and inappropriate for EPA to openly plan to not update and correct known errors prior to CASAC's final meeting to make recommendations," said Vitter. "EPA has an obligation to use the most up-to-date, sound science available when creating and implementing new rules and regulations, and CASAC should not be asked to make any decisions until it receives the results of EPA's new analysis and corrected errors."

On May 28, EPA's CASAC Ozone Panel will finalize review of EPA's Health Risk and Exposure Assessment for Ozone (HREA) and EPA's Policy Assessment for the Review of the Ozone National Ambient Air Quality Standards (PA). The assessments will be used by CASAC to form specific recommendations to the EPA Administrator on whether or not to lower the existing ozone standard. The lowering of the ozone standard to near background levels in some parts of the country could place nearly every county in violation of the standard, jeopardizing business expansion and resulting in significant job loss.

It appears EPA also does not plan to correct risk data errors in the documents before the end of the month. Vitter says that updating and correcting these analyses are too important not to complete prior to a scheduled May 28 conference call.

Should EPA fail to provide the results of the threshold model analysis and fully corrected mortality risk data before May 28, Vitter requests that EPA tell CASAC to delay their call.

Click here to read today's letter.