There has been a law proposed by the EPA. It is designed to regulate particulate emissions or PM as they call it. PM? Texas Representative Joe Barton spoke to a group of finishers about his experience with EPA concerning this proposed legislation. Congressman Barton is also an engineer, which went over well with the crowd.
Congressman Barton asked the EPA exactly what particulate matter is. After listening to the explanation, he clarified it for himself. He asked the EPA representatives if PM is grit, dirt, dust or sand? The EPA representatives said that is exactly what it is. Then Congressman Barton wondered if when he did his yearly dusting of his apartment (in preparation for his wife's annual visit) and opened the windows, would he be in violation of the proposed rule? He was told that he would be.
Congressman Barton said there is still more commonsense needed in environmental legislation. However, he noted that the finishing industry's input and cooperation are a great help.
EPA is working closely with the finishing industry on many issues, however there are still some areas where the Agency seems to making legislation just to make rules. As though it is trying to verify its continued existence. EPA representatives have told finishers at various meetings and conferences, such as the AESF/EPA Week, that EPA has unlimited shelf space for regulations.
For instance, this morning on the news I heard a report about banning the inhalers used by asthmatics because something in the inhalers pollutes the air. Suppose they ban inhalers, what recourse do the approximately 14.6 million asthmatics have? Who will pay for their health care? Maybe they will not need health care. Just think how clean the air will be without all those inhalers.
Perhaps this proposed rule will fizzle out by the time this editorial appears. I hope so. But I also think it is sad and absurd that time and resources were ever wasted on this idea. That is why it is important for you to contact your representatives and let them know what is important to you. The U.S. Capitol switchboard telephone number is 202-224-3121, or look up the number for your representative's local office. They do want to hear from you.