As Wildfire Smoke Worsens Public Health, Government Watchdog Calls EPA Response ‘Ad Hoc’

A recent U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) report concludes that the Environmental Protection Agency’s response to wildfire smoke is “ad hoc,” poorly resourced and muddled by a lack of coordination with other agencies. The new GAO report highlights how an “Exceptional Events” rule loophole in the Clean Air Act allows local regulators to make a case that air pollution from “natural” wildfires shouldn’t count against their federal air quality goals. Thus, erasing some of the worst air-pollution days pollution — not from the sky, but from the record. Learn more about what this means for establishing regional air quality standards, public health, and resource allocation, in this article ( by Molly Peterson (The California Newsroom) and Dillon Bergin (MuckRock). KQED, May 23, 2023