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E-M:/ Sen. Levin's Reg Reform bill

Enviro-Mich message from asagady@sojourn.com

The National Sierra Club has again written up Sen. Carl Levin (D-Mich)'s
S 981, the reg reform bill....

------------------------------- Message Contents -------------------------------
 AUGUST 4, 1997
 "You can only go halfway into the darkest forest; then you are coming out the 
 other side."  
 -- Chinese Proverb
 Sierra Club Legislative Hotline - 202-675-2394 
 Sierra Club National Headquarters - 415-977-5500 
 Sierra Club World Wide Web - http://www.sierraclub.org
 White House Comment Line - 202-456-1111 
 White House Fax Line - 202-456-2461
 Clinton's e-mail - president@whitehouse.gov 
 Gore's e-mail - vice-president@whitehouse.gov
 White House Address - 1600 Pennsylvania Ave, Washington, DC 20500
 US Capitol Switchboard - 202-224-3121 
 ON THE HILL:     Reg Reform is Back & it's Bad


 Reg Reform is Back & it's Bad
 On June 27th, Sens Levin (D-MI) & Thompson (R-TN) introduced S. 981, the 
 Regulatory Improvement Act of 1997.  Under the guise of so-called regulatory 
 reform, S. 981 could lead to the rollback of environmental, public health, 
 and safety protections.  The following fact sheet outlines how this 
 destructive bill could undermine vital public protections.  
 You can act by getting the word out in your local paper through a letter to 
 the editor that voices your opposition to this bill.
 The Regulatory Improvement Act of 1997 Will Put Our Health, Safety, and 
 Environment at Risk!
 The Regulatory Improvement Act of 1997 (S. 981) puts cost-benefit analysis 
 and risk assessment at the center of policy decision-making.  Though it is 
 important to consider economics and efficiency when formulating public 
 policy, cost-benefit analyses and risk assessments should not outweigh human 
 values and common sense.  The Regulatory Improvement Act's heavy reliance on 
 these tests will ultimately jeopardize our health, safety, and environment.
 The results of cost-benefit analyses and risk assessments cannot be relied 
 upon to make policy decisions.  Cost-benefit analyses and risk assessments 
 produce numbers that look like facts but are actually very questionable.  
 Many of the benefits from health, safety, and environmental regulations--such 
 as healthier children and lives saved--are difficult to quantify in dollar 
 amounts.  These benefits are often underestimated or entirely ignored while 
 industry usually overestimates the costs of regulatory compliance, making the 
 net benefits of a regulation inaccurately low.  Risk assessments are only as 
 good as the data available, and as science constantly builds upon and refines 
 older data, the results of risk assessments will also change.
 Cost-benefit analysis favors those regulations that cost the least to 
 implement, not the regulations that are most effective at protecting our 
 health, safety, and environment.  The tests called for in S. 981 will 
 handicap new regulations by making them seek the most economic solution to 
 health, safety, and environmental hazards...not the most protective ones.
 Current regulations may be gutted or altogether repealed.  Many health, 
 safety, and environmental regulations are currently made with protection as 
 their primary goal, but the Regulatory Improvement Act of 1997 will require 
 that agencies review existing rules every five years with cost efficiency as 
 their new priority.  Some of the laws currently in effect that will be at 
 risk if S. 981 passes are: the new Safe Drinking Water Act amendments which 
 control for dangerous parasites, the Great Lakes Initiative which reduces the 
 amounts of PCBs that enter the Great Lakes, and the newly promulgated clean 
 air standards.  In all these cases, the technological costs of pollution 
 control are high and the benefits are hard to quantify.  Even though these 
 laws are currently in effect, they can be reviewed, revised, and, perhaps, 
 altogether eliminated under 
 S. 981.
 The Regulatory Improvement Act of 1997 is not an improvement.  It will 
 undermine our health, safety, and environment.

Alex J. Sagady & Associates        Email:  asagady@sojourn.com
Environmental Consulting and Database Systems
PO Box 39  East Lansing, MI  48826-0039  
(517) 332-6971 (voice); (517) 332-8987 (fax)

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