In a rare move, DNR expert slams GOP bill he says would roll back hazardous air regulations

power plant smoke stackFrom the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, December 13, 2017.

A bill supported by Republicans and business groups that would do away with state regulation of hazardous air pollutants has an unusual critic — a Department of Natural Resources expert who says the measure would weaken health protections in Wisconsin.

“Is that what you want — more emissions of hazardous air pollutants being emitted?” Jeff Myers, an environmental toxicologist for the DNR, asked lawmakers last month.

It is rare for DNR employees to speak out on legislative issues. Myers, who has worked at the agency for 28 years and is an expert in air pollution toxicology, told the Assembly Committee on Federalism and Interstate Relations in Madison on Nov. 21 that he was speaking as a private citizen.

“If this bill is passed, emissions of hazardous air pollutants will go up,” Myers said. “If emissions go up, exposure will increase and therefore, Wisconsin residents will be at greater risk of adverse health effects.”

Wisconsin regulations set standards for about 550 hazardous air pollutants, according to the DNR.

Assembly Bill 587 and its companion bill, Senate Bill 459, would eliminate hazardous air pollutants regulated by the state but still keep in place 187 pollutants that are regulated by the federal government.

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Categorized: Air