Dallas – Four national experts today testified at a Texas Natural Resource Conservation Commission (TNRCC) hearing in Dallas to criticize proposed rules aimed at cleaning the air in Dallas and to recommend better alternatives.
Wendell Cox, Senior Fellow with the Texas Public Policy Foundation (TPPF); John Dunn, M.D., J.D., TPPF Research Fellow; Ken Green, Ph.D., Director of Environmental Studies with the Reason Public Policy Institute; and Steve Newsom, Principal with Airmont Environmental Inc., testified on the proposed regulations and their effects on the Dallas economy, air quality, and the health effects of pollution.
“Good science is crucial when crafting environmental policy because inaccuracies lead to human suffering. These proposed rules in their current form represent bad science and bad policy in search of an emissions contributor,” said Jeff Judson, President of TPPF.
In summary, the TPPF experts identified:
(1) more market-friendly strategies to clean the air that do not impose command-and-control regulatory strategies, (2) the flawed scientific assumptions of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regarding the health effects of air pollution in the Dallas-Fort Worth region; and, (3) the negative consequences and faulty assumptions of an unprecedented proposal to restrict the use of off-road construction equipment during the summer months.
This latter proposal calls for an outright ban on the operation of 50-horsepower and higher off-road diesel construction equipment between the hours of 6am and 10am from June 1 through October 31 each year throughout the 12-county Dallas-Fort Worth region. Given the unprecedented nature of the proposed construction ban, considerable attention was dedicated to assessing the adverse environment, safety, health and economic impacts of this proposal.
- The proposed construction ban is unjustified for the following reasons:
- The contribution of construction equipment to NOx air pollution is less than one-tenth the EPA estimate.
- Emissions at night may be no less ozone-producing than daytime emissions.
- Traffic accidents are 40% higher at nighttime construction sites compared to daytime.
- Nighttime construction operations require 40-60 percent longer to complete.
- Nighttime construction, therefore, is 40-60 percent more costly.
- The equivalent of $1 billion less highway construction will take place up to 2020.
- Increased air pollution will result from failure to complete the planned amount of highway improvements, because slower, stop-and-start traffic produces considerably more pollution than traffic moving at the most efficient speeds of between 30-55 mph.
The Texas Public Policy Foundation (http://www.texaspolicy.com) is a 501(c)(3), non-profit, non-partisan research institute founded in 1989. The Foundation conducts public policy research supporting limited government, free enterprise, private property rights and individual responsibility and distributes the findings to the public, the media, and to government decision makers. The Foundation receives no government funds and does not conduct contract research for third parties.