This morning, CPR Member Scholar and University of Maryland School of Law professor Rena Steinzor testified before the U.S. Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works Subcommittee on Superfund, Waste and Regulatory Oversight for a hearing focused on, "Oversight of Regulatory Impact Analysis for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Regulations."
In her testimony, Steinzor noted the limitations of "Regulatory Impact Analysis," or RIA, which agencies are mandated to conduct on all rules they finalize and measures the rules' "costs and benefits." When measuring the costs and benefits of EPA rules geared toward protecting the public health, safety and the environment, Steinzor noted that RIA comes up short, asking the Subcommitee members,"What's the cost of preventing an asthma attack?"
However, given EPA's mandate to conduct cost-benefit analysis on all rules she said, "EPA’s work in this area is the gold standard for all other government agencies. Its elaborate studies invariably conclude that benefits exceed costs. In fact, in the case of the Clean Air Act rules reserved for especially irrational condemnation by regulated industries, benefits exceed costs by a margin of 30 to one. Rather than focus on the marginal improvements that GAO has recommended, the Subcommittee should applaud EPA’s diligent, thorough, and creative efforts to carry out one of the most difficult elements of its mission to preserve environmental quality."
In assessing the tangible benefits of EPA rules, Steinzor's testimony points out that: