Book Exposes EPA Scare Tactics Behind Air Quality Rule

Published June 27, 2017

Review of Scare Pollution: Why and How to Fix the EPA, by Steven J. Milloy (Bench Press), December 22, 2017, 278 pages, ISBN-10: 0998259713, ISBN-13: 978-0998259710; $12.89 on

In Scare Pollution, scientist and lawyer Steve Milloy, famous for his 20-year-old website Junk Science, has produced a most compelling, Pulitzer Prize-worthy piece of investigative journalism.

Most of the American public is unaware the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), with the help of the American Lung Association and radical environmental groups, has nearly succeeded in an attempted takeover of absolutely all industry in the United States. How could EPA accomplish such a grand scheme? By claiming exposure to particles in the air as small as 2.5 millionths of a meter can cause death in a matter of minutes, hours, or days. It is called the PM2.5 rule, and the best scientific research shows these particles are ubiquitous and, contrary to EPA’s claims, are harmless.

Agency Malfeasance

As Milloy explains in this powerful indictment of the agency’s acts of malfeasance, EPA initially promulgated the rule in July 1997 based on “secret science” it refused to divulge to Congress when the latter investigated the rule.

Exposing transcripts of congressional hearings and correspondence between EPA and Congress and between EPA and scientists hired to create results supporting EPA’s proposed restrictions, the book proves conclusively EPA and its associates committed a variety of crimes.

One example is the documented story of a 58-year-old woman with a variety of serious maladies whom EPA scientists purposely exposed to mega-doses of particulate matter to make her sick as part of the agency’s attempt to justify the need to regulate PM2.5. She was never properly informed of the type and dangers of the experiments.

EPA consistently hid results showing serious harm from PM2.5 is nonexistent. Although independent scientists have established there was no correlation between high episodes of PM2.5 in California valleys and increased mortality in large populations, EPA continues to insist their oppressive rule saves tens of thousands of lives annually.

The book reads like a mystery novel, packed with intrigue and evil, but it is all on the record, complete with the names of prominent people in government who colluded to allow EPA to continue what can only be called a criminal operation.

President Ronald Reagan enacted an executive order directing agencies not to take regulatory action unless the potential benefits to society outweigh its costs. President Bill Clinton softened the rule by stating benefits need only justify the costs. The more relaxed standard set EPA on a national witch hunt to control human life as we know it.

In May 2012, Milloy presented his evidence to the Presidential Commission for the Study of Bioethical Issues, chaired by University of Pennsylvania President Amy Gutmann. Despite an EPA whistleblower backing Milloy’s evidence, the commission ignored his proof of wrongdoing.

An additional motive for Milloy’s expose of EPA’s unethical experiments is the fact he lost an uncle in a German concentration camp where deadly human experiments were conducted. A close reading of Milloy’s charges against EPA and their responses leaves little doubt EPA hoped people would die to prove the need for regulation.

My 40 years of experience with EPA indicate this claim is not as outrageous as it may seem. The irony, Milloy says, is “while the EPA relies on the PM2.5 epidemiology to impose expensive regulations on the economy, it simultaneously dismisses that very epidemiology in a court of law to justify its human experiments.”

Confounding Coal-Country Data

Milloy shows some of the most interesting evidence undermining EPA’s PM2.5 regulation is found in coal country. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health studied 8,899 underground coal miners exposed to high levels of small particulate matter daily and reported the death rate for coal miners from cardiopulmonary diseases did not differ in a meaningful way from that of the average U.S. worker.

One of the most informative parts of Milloy’s book explains why businesses targeted by EPA’s corrupt practices do not complain more loudly and regularly than they currently do. Milloy says many companies are subjected to multiple areas of regulation, including air, waste, and water. They fear if they fight over an issue, even if they win, EPA regulators will penalize them in another area where an EPA permit is required. Irritate the EPA, and you risk the agency “venting its anger by delaying, denying, or otherwise sabotaging a permit,” writes Milloy.

Overhauling EPA

Scare Pollution‘s final chapters outline the critical ways EPA should be overhauled, though in the end Milloy concludes, as I have, EPA should be dismantled and its responsibilities devolved to the states, where they belong.

Absent devolution, Milloy’s most important requirement is to end EPA’s practice of hiding its scientific data from the public. In fact, Milloy recommends EPA get out of the research business altogether. The agency funds only researchers it can count on to deliver the results it desires, he argues.

Finally, Milloy calls for requiring congressional approval of all major EPA rules under a principle of U.S. law called the non-delegation doctrine, which holds Congress cannot delegate its legislative powers to executive branch agencies.

This amazing book is a must-read, especially for new EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt, who needs to fully comprehend the rogue nature of the agency he now leads.

Jay Lehr, Ph.D. ([email protected])┬áis science director of The Heartland Institute.