GOP chair of the Senate Environment & Public Works Comm. Wants EPA Rules Eased for Katrina

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A preliminary draft of Inhofe's bill proposes giving the EPA administrator power for 120 days to ``waive or modify'' any of EPA's laws and regulations if it's thought to be ``necessary to respond, in a timely and effective manner, to a situation or damage relating to Hurricane Katrina.'' Governors of affected states would have to be consulted, but the EPA administrator would have final say, according to the draft bill, still being worked on. Environmentalists denounced the emerging proposal. ``Here comes the mother of all environmental rollbacks,'' said Frank O'Donnell, president of the Clean Air Watch advocacy group. ``This could become a blank check for big polluters. It would also be a terrible precedent.''

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