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Return of the 'domino theory' (sidebar)

Has EPA been wounded?
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It may be that packaging groups are starting to smell EPA blood. The agency leaked the first few drops of the red stuff in early April when it admitted that it overestimated the number of premature deaths that would be prevented by its proposed standard on particulate matter (PM). The number is 15 annually not 20 as the agency predicted back in November when it published its proposed rule on PM and ozone. Industry has been arguing that the "science" on which EPA based the rule is faulty and that any benefits from the rule are disproportionately slim compared to the new compliance costs industry would face. The EPA backtracking on the premature deaths estimate is the first indication that perhaps there is a kernel of truth to industry complaints. With that faint scent in the air the Flexible Packaging Assn. is holding a congressional fly-in for members on May 21-22. The purpose is to have members descend on their representatives and senators with the message that the ozone/PM proposal will put some of them out of business and add heavy compliance costs to the companies that survive.

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