By MORGAN LINN
Capital News Service
LANSING — Is the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) trying to regulate one of America’s favorite backyard pastimes?
Yes, according to Sens. Tom Casperson, R-Escanaba, and Phil Pavlov, R-St. Clair, who cite citing a recent EPA project has them fearing barbecue regulations.
Here’s what happened: EPA awarded students at University of California Riverside $15,000 to study ways to reduce barbecue emissions. The award was a prize in a pollution prevention contest.
The students’ goal was to develop technology that reduces air pollution and health hazards related to grills. That could have global applications, says the proposal.
In Michigan, Casperson and Pavlov sponsored a Senate resolution opposing the EPA-funded student project.
Resolutions are merely an expression of opinion by the Legislature and have no legal effect. A Casperson said his resolution’s purpose is to send a message to the EPA and allow people to weigh in on the issue.
The Senate has adopted the resolution. A similar resolution is pending in the House Natural Resources Committee, and the office of committee Chair Andrea LaFontaine, R-Columbus Township, said the panel won’t consider it for at least several weeks.
Casperson and Pavlov say they see the project as the first step toward regulating a cherished American pastime and as a waste of taxpayer dollars. The federal government should be using resources on more pressing issues, such as the annual budget deficit, the resolution says.
“The fact that [the EPA] would look into it or spend a dime on studying the barbecues makes no sense to me,” Casperson said. “Why would the federal government get involved with something like that?”
While barbecue regulations are not the biggest issue in the world, this project highlights a pattern of EPA overreach, including the regulation of wood boilers, he said.
In a statement, Pavlov said that the resolutions make it clear that people tired of government agencies wasting taxpayer dollars on “nonsense.”
Some federal lawmakers have denounced the EPA grant as well, including Sens. John McCain, R-and Rob Portman, R-Ohio
Morgan Linn writes for Great Lakes Echo.
ADDITIONAL RESOURCES FOR CNS EDITORS
Senate Resolution 56: http://www.legislature.mi.gov/documents/2015-2016/resolutionadopted/Senate/pdf/2015-SAR-0056.pdf.
“Technology for the Reduction of Particulate Matter Emissions for Residential Propane BBQs”: http://cfpub.epa.gov/ncer_abstracts/index.cfm/fuseaction/display.abstractDetail/abstract/10266/report/0.
By MORGAN LINN