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Pallone Calls Bush Adminstration's Delay on Proposed Mercury Rule Election Year Politics

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"While I am pleased with today's news that the EPA will provide more time to consider comments from the public, I am concerned that this decision is simply a matter of election year politics. It seems to me that the President Bush is bowing to political pressure by delaying action on this issue until next year.

"Earlier this week, I held a hearing in Trenton on the impact this proposed rule would have on New Jersey. I heard testimony from environmental groups, health advocates and private citizens and they all agreed that this rule is a bad idea for New Jersey's environment and an even worse idea for public health. The Bush Administration's proposal undermines current requirements to reduce emissions by 2007 and will, in fact, put more harmful mercury into the air.

"If EPA wants to do the right thing, they will withdraw this proposed plan and develop a new approach that truly protects our environment and public health."

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