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by H Poole
Thursday, Nov. 06, 2003 at 11:28 PM
Politically Connected Law Firm, Morgan Lewis Bockius, Lobbying the EPA on Behalf of Unknown Client To Roll Back Asbestos Protections For 750,000 Brake Mechanics
Democratic Presidential candidate and Congressman Dennis J. Kucinich (D-OH), a member of the House Government Reform Subcommittee on Energy Policy, Natural Resources and Regulatory Affairs, today accused the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) of shielding from public scrutiny lobbyists who are seeking to remove asbestos protections for 750,000 brake mechanics nationwide.
Despite overwhelming scientific evidence on the harmful affects of asbestos exposure, a high powered and politically connected law firm, Morgan Lewis and Bockius, recently lobbied the EPA on behalf of an undisclosed client to reverse a 17-year old EPA Guidance Book on asbestos protections in auto repair shops.
Asbestos is still found in automobile brakes in older cars, some new cars, and brake repair parts. A study of auto shops in six states and DC found that two-thirds of the surveyed locations showed substantial levels of asbestos. This survey clearly indicates that lifting the EPA Guidance, as advocated by Morgan Lewis and their undisclosed client, would put the 750,000 brake mechanics in the United States at greater risk.
Despite repeated attempts by Kucinich the EPA has refused to pursue or release the name of the client Morgan Lewis is lobbying for.
"The fact that the EPA would shield the name of a lobbyist on such a high profile issue is unacceptable," Kucinich stated. "The EPA owes the over 750,000 brake mechanics nationwide, that would be affected by the repeal of these standards, the release of these special interest names. Unfortunately, this seems to be yet another example of the EPA siding with special interests over the public health and safety."
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