NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

OMB Plans Early Involvement in Writing Soot Rules

June 14, 2002

Officials of the Office of Management and Budget will sit down with experts from the Environmental Protection Agency to develop rules aimed at cutting emissions of soot from bulldozers and other off-road diesel equipment. The Bush administration believes the early involvement of the OMB will streamline that rule-making process.

OMB would, in any event, have to review and approve the new rules before they could go into effect.

  • The overall aim of the agencies is to cut soot exhaust and reduce sulfur in fuel.
  • Sulfur prevents the use of some emissions controls and also leads to the formation of some varieties of small particles.
  • Participants will also explore ways to encourage engine makers to act early in changing engine designs.
  • Diesel fuel formulations used in off-road equipment often have sulfur concentrations of 3,000 parts per million -- whereas formulations used in highway vehicles are limited to 500 ppm, and will drop to 15 ppm by 2006.

Some members of Congress oppose the early involvement of the OMB in the process. Rep. Henry A. Waxman (D-Calif.) argues that Congress granted rule-making authority to the EPA, not the OMB.

However, a number of experts say involving the agencies earlier makes sense.

Source: Andrew C. Revkin, "EPA and the Budget Office to Work Jointly on Diesel Soot Rules," New York Times, June 8, 2002.


Browse more articles on Environment Issues